A Glacier Dies

I had not considered the concept of a glacier dying until I listened to today’s episode of KQED’s The Bay podcast. (And here’s a link so you can listen too.)

The episode’s description says it all:

As a geologist, Greg Stock never imagined he’d witness the death of a glacier. The Lyell Glacier is Yosemite National Park’s largest ice mass, and Stock has been researching it for more than a decade. The famed California scientist John Muir first studied the Lyell in the 1870s. But the glacier has slowly shrunk. Soon it will completely disappear. What do you call a glacier that no longer moves?

What do we call a glacier that no longer moves? Humanity is an accessory to this glacier’s death. The emotion comes through clearly in the interview. We are about to lose something magnificent. There’s no stopping it now. Soon we will only have pictures and memories.

It’s too late for the Lyell Glacier, the real question is whether we are going to address the systems that led to this glacier dying.