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Glaciers FAQs - 20 Found

How do we know glaciers are shrinking?

In addition to qualitative methods like Repeat Photography, USGS scientists collect quantitative measurements of glacier area and mass balance to track how some glaciers are retreating (Glacier Monitoring Studies). For example, ablation stakes show the seasonal gain and loss of snow, snow-pit analyses measure density of snow, and precision GPS measurements document the glacier margin. Also, because on-site GPS measurement of individual glaciers is expensive and labor intensive, aerial photograph analysis is used to determine glacier area through digitization of glacier margins.


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Benchmark Glaciers

Tags: Global Change, Glaciers, Climate, Snow, Ice, Polar