Say goodbye to Yosemite’s largest glacier
Hasta la vista, glacier.
The world’s glaciers are withering quickly — researchers say they are contributing to nearly one-third of sea-level rise, despite holding just 1 percent of the planet’s surface ice. And while the glaciers in California’s Yosemite National Park aren’t the largest, they are suffering the same alarming fate as their icy ilk in other parts of the world.
Yosemite’s granite cliffs and valleys were carved during the Ice Age as glaciers expanded. Now these vestigial masses of ice are mostly retreating — and fast. The park employs a full-time glaciologist, Greg Stock, who recently returned from a trek to Lyell Glacier, which is the park’s largest. He told the L.A. Times that it had shrunk visibly since he made the same back-country hike last year:
“Lyell has dropped 62% of its mass and lost 120 vertical feet of ice over the last 100 years. “We give it 20 years or so of existence — then it’ll vanish, leaving behind rocky debris,” Stock said.
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