Washington's ~1,000 glaciers are valued as recorders of climate change, sources of freshwater, mountaineering challenges, and as the sole habitat for some species.
Glaciers record a history of climate change because of their sensitivity to temperature and precipitation combined with their ability to leave lasting evidence of their former size.
They also provide vast amounts of cold fresh water to our lakes and streams during the region's summer drought.
This class will explore the rich record of climate changes in the region as revealed by research on ancient glacial deposits and modern glacier observations.
Dr. Riedel will trace our climate history from the last ice age between about 30,000 -11,500 years ago, through cyclic changes in glacier size after about 7,000 years ago, to the Little Ice Age and the last century.
And last but not least, you will hear how monitoring of glaciers in Washington's national parks provides important information on changing water supplies.
You can learn about our glacier monitoring program before this class at:
photo: Silver Glacier lies between the two peaks of Mount Spickard in the North Cascades