We can better weatherize our homes, workspaces, and businesses. Changing our norms can have a significantly positive impact. Try to reuse and repurpose things as much as possible. Drive as little as possible. Save power at home by taking shorter showers. Turning off the water while brushing your teeth. Hanging laundry outside to dry. Unplugg electronics when they are not being used. Tree planting is one of the best and most proactive solutions to climate change. Buy better bulbs. Pull the plug(s). Maintain your ride. Rethink planes, trains, and automobiles.
Glacier Retreat
Of 2000 Glaciers observed, 99% melt.

Glacier retreat can be an indicator of our efforts to reduce climate change at a macro-level. Environmental concerns take root at both a local and global level.

Melting of glaciers:

275 000 000 000 000 liters/year

8 700 000 liters/sec


2,3 olympic pools/sec

73 000 000 olympic pools/year

Since you are connected:

Glacial retreat is a term that describes what happens when a glacier’s furthest point doesn’t reach as far down valley as it used to at the same time of year. It can be used as a shorthand to describe the shrinking of a glacier and as a symptom for climate concerns globally. Some of the most famous occurrences of glacier retreat occur in places with glaciers that attract numbers of visitors. Muir Glacier in Alaska has seen a significant reduction in size when comparing photographs from the 1970s to ones taken this decade. Glaciers around Glacier National Park in Montana are also notably smaller than before. Earlier this year, the nation of Iceland held a funeral for the first glacier lost to climate change. A bronze plaque was mounted on a bare rock where the Okjökull Glacier used to sit. The world’s glaciers cover about 10 percent of all land, mostly around Greenland and Antarctica. More glaciers can be found in elevated portions of places like Mt. Kilimanjaro or Patagonia. These frozen spaces store about 70 percent of the world’s fresh water. Based on recent surveys, around 99 percent of glaciers are in retreat. Glacier loss has devastating consequences. At a global level it relates to temperatures unsustainable for food production and mass extinction. When it occurs in a more localized setting, the runoff of more ice water than typical can cause soil erosion and farmland infertility.

Climate change is perhaps the most obvious contributor to glacier retreat, but it is certainly not the only cause. Here are some of them that may concern you.

Glacier retreat is an indicator that relates to global level concerns, although the two of course deeply interlink. The overall rate of carbon emissions into the earth’s atmosphere, the decrease in its forest spaces, and other environmental threats all contribute toward retreat. Transporting invasive pests can have the unintended consequences of disrupting the ecological balance in such places. An example of this is the transportation of rats via cargo ships, visiting Antarctica or the Arctic Circle. Similarly, unsustainable travel by researchers or tourists can have damaging effects. While these locations may seem distant to the environments we more frequently interact with, they are all interconnected. As temperatures rise and ice melts, increased water flows from the ice caps into seas and oceans. This results in rising waters and warmer oceans. This is a threat to much marine life, and creates the risk of ecological disasters for costal populations. “Researchers long ago predicted that the most visible impacts from a globally warmer world would occur first at high latitudes: rising air and sea temperatures, earlier snowmelt, later ice freeze-up, reductions in sea ice, thawing permafrost, more erosion, increases in storm intensity. Now all those impacts have been documented in Alaska,” warns Daniel Glick of National Geographic.

How to avoid that?
Be Active!

A global problem like glacier retreat requires global solutions. Expecting sudden solutions at the hands of individual actors isn’t likely. There are, however, decisions that when made en masse will have a positive effect on glacier size.

The goal is simple. Carbon dioxide is the climate’s worst enemy. It’s released when oil, coal, and other fossil fuels are burned for energy—the energy we use to power our homes, cars, and smartphones. By using less of it, we can curb our own contribution to climate change while also saving money. Here are a dozen easy, effective ways each one of us can make a difference.

1. Speak up!

What’s the single biggest way you can make an impact on global climate change? “Talk to your friends and family, and make sure your representatives are making good decisions,” by voicing your concerns—via social media or, better yet, directly to your elected officials—you send a message that you care about the warming world. Encourage Congress to enact new laws that limit carbon emissions and require polluters to pay for the emissions they produce. “The main reason elected officials do anything difficult is because their constituents make them”.

2. Use renewable energy.

Choose a utility company that generates at least half its power from wind or solar and has been certified by Green-e Energy, an organization that vets renewable energy options. If that isn’t possible for you, take a look at your electric bill; many utilities now list other ways to support renewable sources on their monthly statements and websites.

3. Weatherize, weatherize, weatherize.

“Building heating and cooling are among the biggest uses of energy”. Indeed, heating and air-conditioning account for almost half of home energy use. You can make your space more energy efficient by sealing drafts and ensuring it’s adequately insulated. You can also claim federal tax credits for many energy-efficiency home improvements.

4. Invest in energy-efficient appliances.

Since they were first implemented nationally in 1987, efficiency standards for dozens of appliances and products have kept 2.3 billion tons of carbon dioxide out of the air. That’s about the same amount as the annual carbon pollution coughed up by nearly 440 million cars. “Energy efficiency is the lowest-cost way to reduce emissions”. When shopping for refrigerators, washing machines, and other appliances, look for the Energy Star label. It will tell you which are the most efficient.

5. Reduce water waste.

Saving water reduces carbon pollution, too. That's because it takes a lot of energy to pump, heat, and treat your water. So take shorter showers, turn off the tap while brushing your teeth, and switch to WaterSense-labeled fixtures and appliances. The EPA estimates that if just one out of every 100 American homes were retrofitted with water-efficient fixtures, about 100 million kilowatt-hours of electricity per year would be saved—avoiding 80,000 tons of global warming pollution.

6. Actually eat the food you buy—and make less of it meat.

Approximately 10 percent of U.S. energy use goes into growing, processing, packaging, and shipping food—about 40 percent of which just winds up in the landfill. “If you’re wasting less food, you’re likely cutting down on energy consumption”. And since livestock products are among the most resource-intensive to produce, eating meat-free meals can make a big difference, too.

7. Buy better bulbs.

LED lightbulbs use up to 80 percent less energy than conventional incandescents. They’re also cheaper in the long run: A 10-watt LED that replaces your traditional 60-watt bulb will save you $125 over the lightbulb’s life.

8. Pull the plug(s).

Taken together, the outlets in your home are likely powering about 65 different devices, an average load for a home in the U.S. Audio and video devices, cordless vacuums and power tools, and other electronics use energy even when they're not charging. This “idle load” across all U.S. households adds up to the output of 50 large power plants in the U.S. So don't leave fully charged devices plugged into your home's outlets, unplug rarely used devices or plug them into power strips and timers, and adjust your computers and monitors to automatically power down to the lowest power mode when not in use.

9. Drive a fuel-efficient vehicle.

Gas-smart cars, such as hybrids and fully electric vehicles, save fuel and money. And once all cars and light trucks meet 2025’s clean car standards, which means averaging 54.5 miles per gallon, they’ll be a mainstay. For good reason: Relative to a national fleet of vehicles that averaged only 28.3 miles per gallon in 2011, Americans will spend $80 billion less at the pump each year and cut their automotive emissions by half. Before you buy a new set of wheels, compare fuel-economy performance.

10. Maintain your ride

If all Americans kept their tires properly inflated, we could save 1.2 billion gallons of gas each year. A simple tune-up can boost miles per gallon anywhere from 4 percent to 40 percent, and a new air filter can get you a 10 percent boost.

11. Rethink planes, trains, and automobiles.

Choosing to live in walkable smart-growth cities and towns with quality public transportation leads to less driving, less money spent on fuel, and less pollution in the air. Less frequent flying can make a big difference, too. “Air transport is a major source of climate pollution”. “If you can take a train instead, do that”.

12. Shrink your carbon profile.

You can offset the carbon you produce by purchasing carbon offsets, which represent clean power that you can add to the nation’s energy grid in place of power from fossil fuels. But not all carbon offset companies are alike. Do your homework to find the best supplier.

No. Name Country Massif Surface
1 Mer de Glace France Mont-Blanc 40 km2

The Mer de Glace ("Sea of Ice") is a valley glacier located on the northern slopes of the Mont Blanc massif, in the French Alps. It is 7.5 km long and 200 metres (660 ft) deep but, when all its tributary glaciers are taken into account, it can be regarded as the longest and largest glacier in France, and the second longest in the Alps after the Aletsch Glacier.
The Mer de Glace flows continuously under the effect of its own weight, causing crevasses, seracs or pockets of water to form, depending on the terrain over which it moves. Its speed, although not perceptible to the naked eye, is considerable. From more than 120 metres (390 ft) a year in its upper part, the Mer de Glace moves about 90 metres (300 ft) per year in the region of Montenvers, which is about one centimetre per hour. The Mer de Glace usually loses around one metre each year, a rate which has remained unchanged for 30 years.

2 Argentière France Mont-Blanc 14.27 km2

The Argentière Glacier is a glacier in the French Alps. It is one of the larger glaciers found within the Mont Blanc massif, and is situated above the village of Argentière. It lies perpendicular to the Chamonix valley and falls within the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region.
From its source to the valley of Chamonix, the Argentière Glacier is nine kilometers long. Like many glaciers in the region, the Argentière has receded significantly. Between 1870 and 1967, the glacier shrunk 1000 meters. In recent years, it has receded to a position atop a steep slope. The glacier's rapid retreat has been linked to a continuous negative mass balance. A five-year study started in 2004 showed that the glacier had lost an average of 1.5 m between 2004 and 2009, and that there was a 10–11 m loss in average ice thickness from the glacier.

3 Bossons France Mont-Blanc 9,9 km2

The Bossons Glacier is one of the larger glaciers of the Mont Blanc massif of the Alps, found in the Chamonix valley of Haute-Savoie département, south-eastern France. It is fed from icefields lying on the northern side of Mont Blanc, and descends down close to the Aiguille du Midi and ends on the southern side of the Arve valley, close to the town of Chamonix. It has the largest altitudinal drop of all the alpine glaciers in Europe, and formerly extended much further down the valley than it does today. It is now approximately 7.5 km long, with a surface area of approximately 10 km².
In 1900 the snout of the glacier was still reaching down into the valley bottom at an altitude of 1,050 metres above sea level. By 1980 the snout only reached down to about 1,200 metres, and by 2008 it had melted backwards even further backwards, ended at around 1,400 metres, albeit still well below the treeline. A series of paintings from the early 19th century and modern day photographs reveal the extent of the glacier's recession as the climate has warmed, as well as revealing evidence of glacial moraines showing its past extent down to the valley bottom.

4 Trient Switzerland Mont-Blanc 6 km2

The Trient glacier is located in the canton of Valais in Switzerland. It is located near the French border south of Martigny and north of the Mont-Blanc massif. It measures 4.5 kilometers and covers an area of nearly 6 km2. Its name comes from the village of Trient located further down the valley.
More than 500 glaciers have completely disappeared in Switzerland since 1850, glaciologists say. The country might lose most of its remaining 1500 by the end of this century if CO2 emissions are not decreased. Melting glaciers are changing Switzerland's landscape dramatically as evidenced by archive photographs from the 19th century released recently by Zurich’s ETH Library. The photographs are taken from exactly the same angle. This "river" of ice can be seen on The Trient Glacier photograph taken in 1891, the still taken from the same spot un 2010 is dominated by green forest, very little ice can be seen at all.

5 Adishi Georgia Caucasus 12.9 km2

Adishi Glacier is a valley glacier located in the central part of the Greater Caucasus Mountain Range in the Svaneti Region of Georgia. The glacier lies on the southern slopes of the Caucasus. The length of the Adishi Glacier is 9 km (5.6 mi) and its surface area is 12.9 km2. The tongue of the glacier descends down to 2,298 m (7,539 ft) above sea level. The glacier feeds off of the runoff and ice flows from the adjacent glaciers that are located on the southern slopes of Tetnuldi, Gistola and Lakutsia. The Adishi Glacier is the source of the river Adishischala. The glacier takes its name from the nearby village Adishi.
The shape of the glacier changes dramatically from the ice base (2650 m); the tongue slightly inclined (~10˚–15˚) and in a shape of a beautiful fan ends at the height of 2485 meters above sea level. The ice tongue length is ~2.5 kilometers. According to the description of 1960 the glacier tongue was covered with a small amount of weathered material, but the last visual inspection and observation of space image shows that the amount of weathered material has sharply increased, especially in the sides and in the last part. The glacier length has shortened by ~0.5 km between 1960-2014.

6 Chalaati Georgia Caucasus 13.3 km2

The glacier is located on the southern slopes of the Caucasus Mountains, at the source of the river Mestia-Chala. The height of the glacier is 1850 meters. Chalaati is the only glacier that extends into the forest zone. The glacier is fed by the mountain streams Bzhedukhi, Chatini and Dalaqori.
After the 121 years between the photos, its front has withdrawn of more than 2 km and has lost more than 200m of thickness.

7 Liligo Pakistan Karakoram 17 km2

Liligo Glacier is a small glacier located in a transverse valley, which flows on the south side of Baltoro Glacier, Karakoram, Pakistan. Terminus variations of Liligo Glacier since 1892 were reconstructed using various methods and sources (historical documents, cartography, photographs, satellite images and field surveys).
The glacier is characterized by two phases of strong advance (beginning and end of the 20th century), separated by at least half a century of retreat. The advance rates, together with some ice-surface features such as the heavily crevassed surface and terminus morphology, are considered to be indicative of a surge-type glacier.

8 Biaflo Pakistan Karakoram 344 km2

The Biafo Glacier is a 67 km long glacier in the Karakoram Mountains of Gilgit Baltistan, Pakistan-administrated Kashmir which meets the 49 km (30 mi) long Hispar Glacier at an altitude of 5,128 m (16,824 ft) at Hispar La (Pass) to create the world's longest glacial system outside the polar regions. This highway of ice connects two ancient mountain kingdoms, Nagar, in the west with Baltistan in the east. The traverse uses 51 of the Biafo Glacier's 67 km and all of the Hispar Glacier to form a 100 km (62 mi) glacial route. The Biafo Glacier is the world's third longest glacier outside the polar regions, second only to the 70 km (43 mi) Siachen Glacier, India-Pakistan and Tajikistan's 77 km long Fedchenko Glacier.

9 Reid United States Fairweather 8 km2

Reid Glacier is a 18 km glacier in the U.S. state of Alaska. It trends north to Reid Inlet in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, two miles (3 km) south of Glacier Bay and 72 miles (116 km) northwest of Hoonah. It was named by members of the Harriman Alaska Expedition for Harry Fielding Reid.
The center of the glacier continues to slowly recede at about 30 to 50 feet per year, while the remainder of the margin has been receding at about 30 feet per year or less while progressively thinning. Based on the GIS analysis, Reid Glacier has retreated ~3.0 km and lost a total of ~4.5 km2 of ice between 1899 and 2004.

10 Mc Bridge United States Fairweather 50 km2

McBride Glacier was part of the Muir Glacier complex in Glacier Bay, Alaska, until the 1960’s when it separated from Muir and adjacent Riggs Glacier. Riggs Glacier and Muir Glacier are no longer calving tidewater glaciers, while McBride has continues to terminate in a tidewater inlet.
McBride Glacier has been steadily thinning and retreating by calving since the 1960s after its separation from Muir Glacier. Over the last 5 years, retreat rates have increased to about 200 to 300 feet per year. In the summer of 2003, a significant amount of calving had occurred, more so than in the previous two years. A significant portion of the northern half of the ice margin had receded ~85 meters in less than an estimated 7 day period. With deep water at its margin, McBride Glacier is expected to continue receding at a fairly rapid pace.

11 Boulder United States Montana 0.053 km2

Boulder Glacier is located in the U.S. state of Montana in Glacier National Park (U.S.). The glacier is situated to the north of Boulder Peak and west of the Continental Divide.Between 1966 and 2005.
Boulder Glacier lost more than 75 percent of its surface area. As of 2005 the glacier was measured to cover only 13 acres (0.053 km2), and no longer met the 25 acres (0.10 km2) threshold often cited as the minimal area to qualify as an active glacier. Boulder Glacier was photographed in 2007 by researchers from the U.S. Geological Survey and those images demonstrate that the glacier has almost disappeared. Earlier images taken in 1932 depict a glacier that was far larger than what was recorded in 2005.

12 Pedersen United States Kenai 32 km2

Pedersen Glacier is an outlet glacier of the Harding Icefield in Kenai Fjords National Park near Seward, Alaska.
The glacier drops quickly from the plateau of the icefield through a pair of icefalls terminating in a lake at 25 meters above sea level. Pedersen Glacier retreated slow but steady from 1951-1986 at 706 m (20 m/a) and 434 m (23 m/year) from 1986-2005.

13 Muir United States Takhinsha 3.1 km2

Muir Glacier is a glacier in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve in the U.S. state of Alaska. It is currently about 0.7 km wide at the terminus. As recently as the mid-1980s the glacier was a tidewater glacier and calved icebergs from a wall of ice 90 m (200 feet) tall. The glacier is named after Scottish-born naturalist John Muir, who traveled around the area and wrote about it, generating interest in the local environment and in its preservation.
Muir Glacier has undergone very rapid, well-documented retreat since its Little Ice Age maximum position at the mouth of Glacier Bay around 1780. In 1794, the explorer Captain George Vancouver found that most of Glacier Bay was covered by an enormous ice sheet, some 1,200 meters (3,900 ft) in places. In 1904 the glacier reportedly "broke through the mountains" with Pyramid Peak to the west and Mt. Wright and Mount Case to the east. From 1892 to approximately 1980, it had retreated nearly 32 kilometers (20 mi). Between 1941 and 2004, the glacier retreated more than 12 kilometers (7.5 mi) and thinned by over 800 meters (2,600 ft). Ocean water has filled the valley replacing the ice and creating Muir Inlet.

14 Athabasca Canada Rockies 6 km2

The Athabasca Glacier is one of the six principal "toes" of the Columbia Icefield, located in the Canadian Rockies. The glacier is approximately 6 km (3.7 mi) long, covers an area of 6 km2 (2.3 sq mi), and is measured to be between 90–300 metres (300–980 ft) thick.
The glacier currently loses depth at a rate of about 5 metres (16 ft) per year and has receded more than 1.5 km (0.93 mi) and lost over half of its volume in the past 125 years. Easily accessible, it is the most visited glacier in North America. The leading edge of the glacier is within easy walking distance; however, travel onto the glacier is not recommended unless properly equipped. Hidden crevasses have led to the deaths of unprepared tourists.

15 Grey Chile Andes 270 km2

Grey Glacier is a glacier in the Southern Patagonian Ice Field, just west of the Cordillera del Paine. It flows southward into the lake of the same name. Before dividing in two at its front end, the glacier is 6 kilometers wide and over 30 meters high. In 1996, it occupied a total area of 270 km2 (100 sq mi) and a length of 28 km (17 mi). In November 2017 a large iceberg broke off the glacier.
All three lobes have retreated over a 22-year period, with the greatest loss of ice occurring along the westernmost lobe terminus. Grey Glacier, like others in southern Patagonia, loses ice from its terminus as it enters the water, a process known as calving. Calving produces large free-floating chunks of ice; some floating ice is visible near the central glacier lobe in the upper image. The observed retreat means that ice loss has been greater than ice replenishment. It is most likely due to a combination of increased regional temperatures and changes in precipitation amounts. The glacier has lost over 400 meters in thickness and has retreated over 4km.

16 Torre Chile Andes 240 km2

Cerro Torre is one of the mountains of the Southern Patagonian Ice Field in South America. It is located in a region which is disputed between Argentina and Chile,west of Fitz Roy (also known as Cerro Chaltén). The peak is the highest of a four mountain chain: the other peaks are Torre Egger (2,685 m (8,809 ft), Punta Herron, and Cerro Standhardt.
The Torre Glacier has retreated at least 50 meters. The differences with De Agostini’s pictures, taken in 1945, are huge. The Glacier has lost a lot of thickness especially in the frontal area.

17 Gyabrag China Himalaya 10.24 km2

The Kyetrak Glacier (also known as the Gyabrag Glacier) runs along the Northern slope of Cho Oyu. It was first explored in 1921, by the British Reconnaissance team, and marks a commonly used route to Advanced Base Camp on the mountain. It is referred to as the “Tichy Route”, a nod to the Austrian team that made the first successful ascent. Gyabrag Glacieris now separated from a large proglacial lake by a large outwash plain.