Glacier Photos Illustrate Climate Change

Climate is changing — there should be zero doubt about this circa 2017. The outstanding issue for the geoscience community has been how we best portray to this to the public.

In their GSA Today article posted online, a team of experts in the field — Patrick Burkhart, Richard Alley, Lonnie. Thompson, James Balog, Paul E. Baldauf, and Gregory S. Baker — present an exceptional example.

With contrasting photographs, they document the loss of ice across Earth’s surface, an almost assured consequence of anthropogenic carbon emissions.

This image shows the retreat of the Columbia Glacier, Alaska, USA, by ~6.5 km between 2009 and 2015. Credit Photo credit: James Balog and the Extreme Ice Survey. Usage Restrictions Credit GSA Today, The Geological Society of America, and James Balog and the Extreme Ice Survey.
This image shows the retreat of the Columbia Glacier, Alaska, USA, by ~6.5 km between 2009 and 2015. Photo credit: James Balog and the Extreme Ice Survey. GSA Today, The Geological Society of America, and James Balog and the Extreme Ice Survey.
One cannot dismiss it — the photographs don’t lie.

The real problem for geoscientists is what we are going to do about, when much of our science and society lies intertwined with fossil fuels.


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