A new study measured 38 years of change for glaciers in Kenai Fjords National Park, which lies south of Anchorage, and found that 13 of 19 glaciers show substantial retreat, four are relatively stable, and two have advanced. It also finds trends in which glacier types are disappearing fastest.
The latest technology to study glaciers fits in a backpack and can be carried up steep mountains. University of Oregon researchers have developed a portable tool that uses lasers to measure the composition of glacial ice, data that can help determine how fast that ice is melting. The instrument can be used to study glaciers in remote wilderness areas, like those in Oregon’s Cascade Mountains. And it can help verify satellite data collected about bigger glaciers, like those in Greenland and Antarctica.