Monday, August 29, 2005

Shrinking Icelandic glaciers

In the last ten years Snæfells Glacier has retreated at a fast pace due to warmer weather and shrunk a great deal reports Morgunbladid.

"The weather is always getting warmer and the glacier is not as beautiful as before," said Leifur Ágústsson, a farmer in Mávahlíð in Snæfellsbæ. He said crevasses that one did not see before can now easily be seen from far away.

Tryggvi Konrádsson, owner of Snjófells, a travel service at Arnarstapa, agreed with Leifur, and said that the edge of the glacier has retreated. He said that he is not worried and that "it will snow again".

According to a geologist from the Energy Institute, Oddur Sigurdsson, Icelandic glaciers have shrunk rapidly in the last decade. He said that this was especially evident on Snæfells Glacier, a glacier which had been growing for over 25 years.

"There has been a lot of snow on the mountain in the past," said Oddur, "now we just see the bare glacier."

He said that there is no need to worry, the glacier is not about to disappear even though temperatures continue to rise. Oddur explained that because of the retreat, the glacier is not advancing as much as before, therefore new crevasses are less likely to form. He said that the older crevasses become more visible when the snow covering them melts. Oddur also said that glaciers are usually most dangerous to traverse when they are growing but one should always be cautious.


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