Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Columbia Icefields

If you look closely, you will see people walking on the ice on the far right of this photo. This might give you an impression of how enormous the Columbia Icefields are. Ice Caps and Glaciers account for about 80% of the world's fresh water supply, and the glaciers are melting at an ever increasing rate. At the Columbia Icefields, the Park has posted the location of the Ice at given years over the past century. The distance at which the leading edge of the Icefield is retreating is astonishing.

This Glacier feeds the Athabasca river, which flows north and empties into the Arctic Ocean. While beautiful, it is also dangerous and many sightseers have died over the years, falling into sudden cracks or holes in the ice and freezing to death.

The grandeur of the earth is present here, as is the dual lessons of our profound impact on the environment juxtaposed with how small and fragile we are compared with the majesty of the living rock.

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