Juneau Icefield melting at a rapidly accelerating rate, researchers find

The melting of Southeast Alaska’s Juneau Icefield, source of more than 1,000 glaciers, is accelerating, shrinking 4.6 times faster than it was in the 1980s, according to a new study.

Researchers tracked snow levels in the nearly 1,500-square-mile expanse going back to 1948, with added data back to the 18th century. It slowly shriveled from its peak size at the end of the Little Ice Age around 1850, but then that melt rate sped up about 10 years ago, according to a study in Nature Communications on July 2.

“What’s happening is that as the climate is changing, we’re getting shorter winters and l...

 

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