A Look at Some of North America’s Vanishing Glaciers

A new Canadian study could have global effects on climate science.

“We’re hoping to pass off this work to other scientists in those regions,” said Garry Clarke, lead author of the study and professor emeritus of glaciology for the University of British Columbia.

The study, which was published Monday after taking a decade to complete, predicts many of Canada’s glaciers will disappear entirely, claiming “few glaciers will remain in the Interior and Rockies region” and those in northwestern British Columbia will only “survive in a diminished state.”


The retreat of mountain glaciers, which the scientific community generally asserts is caused by human-caused climate change, is a significant contributor to sea-level rise, and has potential implications for “aquatic ecosystems, agriculture, forestry, alpine tourism and water quality,” according to the study.

“I am not impressed by the present government approach to dealing with the climate question,” Clarke said, adding that the government had “suppressed the scientific community” and pointing to the Harper administration’s refusal to renew funding for the Canadian Foundation for Climate and Atmospheric Sciences when funds ran out in 2011.

"Our Government is taking action to protect the environment by expanding the network of national parks, conserving Canada’s natural heritage through our National Conservation Plan and reducing greenhouse gas emissions," Shane Buckingham, spokesperson for Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq, said in a statement to ABC News.

"We are achieving emissions reductions through our responsible sector-by-sector regulatory approach, which is aligned with our major economic competitors – like the United States – to ensure Canada's economic competitiveness is protected," Buckingham said.

“Harper’s support for tar sands expansion and Arctic drilling run contrary to scientific evidence of a changed climate,” Farrah Khan, Arctic Campaigner for Greenpeace, said of two activities that contribute to climate-changing greenhouse gases.