How Glaciers Benefit the Larger Environment
About 5 percent of Alaska is covered in ice. The Mendenhall Glacier in southeast Alaska is part of the vast Juneau icefield, a 1500 square mile remnant of the last ice age, from which about 40 major glaciers radiate. The Mendenhall, like many glaciers worldwide, has been slowly retreating over the years, due in large part to our warming climate. It has retreated almost 2 miles since 1929.
We met up with Eran Hood, professor of environmental science at the University of Alaska Southeast, to learn about glacier formation and the role glaciers play within the larger environment. Eran also discussed impacts that retreating glaciers like the Mendenhall are having on our oceans and sea level rise.
View Eran’s video story above, and then check out the National Snow and Ice Data Center’s great resource, “All About Glaciers”. You can also learn more about southeast Alaska and its natural environment via our other video stories from Juneau: