Glaciers you have to see before they disappear
As the devastating effects of climate change become more and more apparent, many stunning natural wonders are unfortunately becoming things of the past. As the earth warms and sea levels rise, it’s not just our floating cities and forests that are feeling the brunt of global warming.
A study conducted at Glacier National Park in Montana revealed a chilling truth. When Glacier National Park was first founded it was home to an estimated 150 glaciers.
Now, according to National Geographic, fewer than 30 glaciers can be visited in this area. The findings of this study are reflected around the world, which means there’s all the more reason to make 2020 the year you visit these stunning natural spectacles.
To help you plan your travel itinerary, we’ve compiled a list of the amazing glaciers you have to see before they disappear.
Canada Glacier, Antarctic
The Antarctic contains 99% of the planet’s glacial ice, which makes for a number of incredible scenes. Ice formations dominate the landscape here, with Canada Glacier, located in the Taylor Valley in Victoria Land, considered the most beautiful. Fed by the seasonal lakes of Fryxell and Hoare, the glacier is among the largest in the world and a magnificent sight to behold.
Franz Josef Glacier, New Zealand
Based on New Zealand’s South Island, the Franz Josef Glacier is 7.5 miles high and made for the outdoor adventurer. It is, however, melting fast with scientists predicting that it will lose 38% of its mass by 2100. Its ice is unstable as a result, which means the best way to see the Franz Josef Glacier is by helicopter.
Hiking Franz Josef is possible via selected routes, however, and the bravest take a dip in its hot pools post-trek.
Iceland’s largest and most voluminous ice cap is among the world’s most stunning. Vatnajokull – also known as the Vatna Glacier – is so big it covers 8% of the country. The glacier sits at the heart of Vatnajokull National Park, an area that has many wonders to explore. Enjoy glacier hiking, take a boat through its lagoons and embark on an ice caving expedition to see glacial ice at its best.
Biafo Glacier, Pakistan
Pakistan may not be known for its cold weather but the Biafo Glacier is a striking example of glacial ice. Climbing more than 5,000 metres, it’s a part of the longest glacier system outside the Polar Regions. Exploring this glacier isn’t for the fainthearted, however, with only experienced climbers able to conquer it successfully.
Do your bit for climate change
Unlike many other endangered species, glaciers are one vanishing wonder that can’t be replaced. But it’s not too late to save a vast majority of the stunning scenes mentioned above. This study published by the Independent details why:
“The study found that about 25 per cent of the global loss of glacier ice that occurred between 1851 and 2010 could be attributable to human influences, but that this rose to about 69 per cent between 1991 and 2010, based on computer simulations of the climate that included natural and man-made effects.”
By everyone doing their bit for climate change, we can preserve glaciers for the next generation and the generation after that to enjoy. A trip to see a melting glacier will also raise awareness and encourage other people to adjust habits that could positively benefit the environment.
Want to visit more wonderful places in the year ahead? Check out the most stunning water-based scenes on the planet for inspiration.