14 Jun '11, 4pm

Mt. Rainier Has Lost Enough Snow to Bury Rhode Island 8 Inches Deep

Mt. Rainier Has Lost Enough Snow to Bury Rhode Island 8 Inches Deep

Researchers arrived at that figure by comparing the estimated thickness and extent of ice seen in a 1970 aerial survey with those measured in 2007 and 2008. All but two of the 28 glaciers and snowfields on the mountain have thinned and shortened at their lower edges, and the exceptions probably thickened only because large amounts of rock fell upon the ice in recent years and insulated it from warming temperatures. Overall, the volcanic peak lost enough ice to cover the entire state of Rhode Island to a depth of nearly eight inches during the 38-year interval between surveys, the researchers report online in the journal Geology. Mount Rainier's ice and snow coverage expanded from the late 1950s to around 1980 during a wetter-than-normal phase of a climate cycle called the Pacific Decadal Oscillation. These recent trends indicate that Mount Rainier's glaciers are very sensi...

Full article: http://www.treehugger.com/files/2011/06/mt-rainier-lost-s...

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