Glaciers growing in the Rocky Mountains

Russ Steele

Ellen and I took a trip across the county this spring in our RV rig, leaving California in late May and returning in mid-July.  We took the old highway 40 east in to the Rockies and marveled at the amount of snow still covering the Rocky Mountains. We returned in July on highway 50,  spending a week in the mountains We stayed in Salida over the 4th of July and too some drives into the mountains. There was still snow on the north side of the mountain peaks and in the north facing small rocky canyons. We wondered if that snow would melt before it started snowing in the fall. We now have the answer to our question in a Yahoo story.

Even though last winter’s historic snowpack has not yet melted, new snow is already piling up in the Rocky Mountain high country. As a result, some glaciers and snowfields are growing.

In Montana’s Glacier National Park, in Colorado’s Front Range, in Wyoming’s Grand Tetons, the glaciers and snowfields are actually gaining volume.When Bob Comey, director of the Bridger-Teton National Forest Avalanche Center, compared photographs of peaks in northwest Wyoming from year to year – images taken before the snow started falling again this autumn – he found “significantly” more ice in the Teton Range compared with two years ago.“I’ve never seen a season with a gain like we’ve seen this summer,” Comey said.

On Arikaree Glacier some 20 miles west of Boulder, Colorado, scientist Nel Caine said he measured between 2 and 3 feet of snow from last winter and spring still remaining in late September.

Meanwhile, scientists have measured a “very modest” increase on Sperry Glacier in Montana’s Glacier National Park.Mind you, these are not the only glaciers growing in the United States. Glaciers are also growing in California, Alaska and Washington state.

H/T to Ice Age Now for the story Glaciers growing in the Rockies.

The Rocky Mountain glaciers grew in the 1800s during the Dalton Minimum, but not as much as you might expect, and their was considerable drought during this cold period.


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