In Alaska, Melting Glaciers Cause Land to Rise

Glaciers receding 30 feet each year
By Sarah Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 18, 2009 9:01 AM CDT
In Alaska, Melting Glaciers Cause Land to Rise
Mendenhall Glacier and others are receding 30 feet or more each year.    (©pdx3525)

Around Juneau, Alaska, climate change is causing an unexpected problem, the New York Times reports: As glaciers melt, the land is rising away from the sea. The change—10 feet in about 200 years—is enough to dry up local streams and wetland habitats, and is the result of land springing back after the weight of glaciers is removed.

“What is the impact when (salmon) return and the streams are dry?” asked Juneau’s mayor. Another problem: Water from the melting glaciers carries sediment to the coast, where some waterways are “basically silted in,” a geologist said. The Earth’s plates continue to move, he adds, and “when you combine tectonics and glacial readjustment, you get rates that are incomprehensible.” (Read more climate change stories.)

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