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Climate Change in Alaska

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Brittany Kuka

on 28 April 2013

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Transcript of Climate Change in Alaska

and its effect on Alaskan glaciers Introduction My Hypothesis Methods Results Discussion Glaciers in Alaska have reduced in size since the climate has been changing. UAA Consortium Library
Searched Peer-reviewed articles
Looked for climate change, Alaska, and glaciers
Picked the most relevant articles Elevation decreases measured by satellite radar altimetry trace back to temperature and snow depth (Lee et al., 2013)
Air temperatures in Alaska have been rising
In Alaska, every glacier with an elevation of 1500 m or less is thinning or retreating (Molnia, 2007)
Case Study: Mendenhall Glacier
Terminus retreated 3 km during 1900's
Lower glacier has thinned at least 200 m since 1909
5.5 cubic km of volume loss in only 50 years
Average thinning rate increased due to warming temperatures
If warming persists, glacier will not fare well
(Motyka, O'Nell, Connor & Echelmeyer, 2003)
Climate Change Climate change is a hot topic
Lots of effects are being observed
Lots of doubt that climate change is actually happening
Alaska is ideal for studying the effects of climate change
lots of glaciers, lots of climate change! (Motikya, O'Neel, Connor & Echelmeyer, 2003) Toboggan Glacier. Picture A-1909. Picture B-2000. (Molnia, 2007) Hypothesis supported!!!
Alaskan glaciers are decreasing
Climate in Alaska is warming
The two seem to be related
Possible Errors:
Correlation does not mean causation
Many glaciers do not have volume records from the past, so we have to go off of pictures
A third variable we don't know about?
References Lee, H., Shum, C. K., Tseng, K., Huang, Z., & Sohn, H. (2013). Elevation changes of Bering Glacier System, Alaska, from 1992 to 2010, observed by satellite radar altimetry. Remote Sensing Of Environment, 13240-48. doi:10.1016/j.rse.2013.01.007
Molnia, B. F. (2007). Late nineteenth to early twenty-first century behavior of Alaskan glaciers as indicators of changing regional climate. Global & Planetary Change, 56(1/2), 23-56. doi:10.1016/j.gloplacha.2006.07.011
Motyka, R. J., O'Neel, S., Connor, C. L., & Echelmeyer, K. A. (2003). Twentieth century thinning of Mendenhall Glacier, Alaska, and its relationship to climate, lake calving, and glacier run-off. Global & Planetary Change, 35(1/2), 93.

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