Despite having written at length (some might say excessively) about the sorry fate of Yosemite's dwindling glaciers and the Sierra snowpack, I've always felt as though my posts were missing something -- a certain audio/visual oomph, you might say. Though I'm much too busy to visit Yosemite in person these days (I intend to do over the coming months, however), the fine folks at KQED have provided the next best alternative: an elaborate video and photo montage on Climate Watch, their climate change-focused blog.
KQED reporters Gretchen Weber and Sasha Khokha had the chance to tag along with Hassan Basagic, a geographer at Portland State University's department of geology, who spends a good deal of time studying the retreat of the Sierra Nevada glaciers. He has spent the past several years documenting the changes in glacier size through photographs (you can see his stunning collection here).
In her post, Gretchen cites the same McClatchy article written by Tom Knudson about Yosemite's shrinking Lyell Glacier that I picked up on a few weeks ago. (You can listen to the radio report they filed for this story here.) I thoroughly enjoyed watching the videos and looking through the photo montage but was saddened to read this:
While the hike to Dana was spectacular, the glacier itself appeared less than majestic. It looked vulnerable, clinging to the side of a massive bowl, a remnant of the sea of ice that once filled the entire valley. It looked so small and fragile that I was not surprised when Yosemite geologist Greg Stock told us in an interview the next day that it’s likely the Dana Glacier will be gone in the next 25-50 years
It's not as if I was particularly flabbergasted to read this, of course, but still. It's one thing to read a newspaper article or a scientific report -- it's quite another to read a personal account. I don't think many Californians truly appreciate the gravity of the situation: If the Sierra snowpack disappears, we will be deprived of a vital water supply.
Via: KQED's Climate Watch: A Long Trek to a Shrinking Glacier
More about Yosemite's shrinking glaciers
A Grim Future for Yosemite's Glaciers
A Helping Hand From Toyota to the Yosemite National Park Fund
Sierra Snowpack Melting Likely to Be Faster than Previously Expected