Clock ticks on Colorado’s last alpine glaciers

Clock ticks on Colorado’s last alpine glaciers

News Type: Regional, Federal Source: Mountain West News
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The final chapter of Colorado’s glacial history is being written in the drips of their last scraps of ice melting away.

As warmer temperatures creep up higher in altitude, Colorado’s 14 glaciers are melting faster and faster. Glaciers that once stored key water reserves for cities and high-mountain ecology will likely be gone within the next few decades, according to researchers from the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research (INSTAAR).

Shrinking glaciers are not just a Colorado problem. In the Andes and Himalaya, similar phenomena threaten the livelihoods and water supply for the people of the heavily-populated regions.

“Glaciers are certainly still the canaries in the coal mine for climate change,” said Robert Anderson, a fellow at INSTAAR and professor of geological sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder.