Check out these breathtaking glaciers before they’re gone


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Glaciers are rivers of compressed snow turned to ice that flow, very slowly, downslope. Both Beautiful and mysterious in their bulk and motion, they’ve been a feature of the Earth’s topography for eons. However, these massive natural wonders are starting to recede all over the world. According to NOAA, 2018 marked the 30th year in a row that glacier mass has declined due to climate change. The disappearance of the world’s glaciers seems unstoppable at this point, so go out and visit one of these wonders of the natural world before they’re gone.

Image Credit: ronniechua/istockphoto.

1. Perito Moreno Glacier, Argentina

This resplendent ice field, a huge tourist attraction in Argentina, contains the third-largest freshwater reserve in the world. At the moment, interestingly, it’s one of the world’s few monitored glaciers that isn’t losing mass. Its beauty and accessibility, though, make it a must-visit whether it’s shrinking or not.

Image Credit: marktucan/istockphoto.

2.Furtwängler, Tanzania

This glacier, located near the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro, is a scrap of what once was an ice cap that topped the mountain. At its current rate of retreat, it’s estimated that it will disappear entirely by 2040.

Image Credit: wallix/istockphoto.

3. Franz Joseph Glacier, New Zealand

This gorgeous ice river, which is easily accessible and a major tourist attraction in New Zealand, is predicted to lose nearly 40 percent of its mass by 2100.

Image Credit: utamaria/istockphoto.

4. Mendenhall Glacier, Alaska

Mendenhall, a 13.6-mile-long glacier located close to Juneau, has retreated 2.5 miles since the mid-1700s.

Image Credit: chaolik/istockphoto.

5. Pasterze, Austria

Pasterze, the longest glacier in Austria and a major tourist attraction, has shrunk by 980 feet since a visitors center was opened next to it in 1963.

Image Credit: Flip16/istockphoto.

6. Athabasca Glacier, Canada

Athabasca, a jewel of the Canadian Rockies, is another easily accessible major tourist attraction that is, sadly, losing 16 feet per year.

Image Credit: knapjames/istockphoto.

7. Hubbard Glacier, Alaska

This is one of the fastest-moving glaciers in North America (at a turtle-like 5.5 feet per hour). Although it isn’t currently retreating, it’s still a must-visit cruise ship stop.

Image Credit: Michael Pegram/istockphoto.

8. Vatnajökull, Iceland

This gorgeous ice cap covers nearly 8 percent of Iceland! It, and other glaciers within its system, are in rapid retreat.

Image Credit: Kesu01/istockphoto.

9. .Drang-Drung, India

This tourist-accessible glacier (via trekking) in Ladakh has been in retreat since 1971.

Image Credit: DanielPrudek/istockphoto.

10. Biafo, Pakistan

This 42-mile-long glacier, the third-longest in the world outside of the polar ice caps, is a strenuous trek for adventurers.

Image Credit: Skazzjy/istockphoto.

11. Pastoruri Glacier, Peru

Pastoruri, located on a peak in the Andes, is popular outdoorsy tourists. It’s lost 22 percent of its mass over the past 35 years.

Image Credit: Raimond Yoshimar Berrios Marino/istockphoto.

12. Matanuska Glacier, Alaska

This stunning 27-mile-long valley glacier is a popular and easily accessible tourist attraction that can be accessed from Anchorage.

Image Credit: DCrane08/istockphoto.

13. Kaskawulsh Glacier, Canada

Kaskawulsh, a glacier in Yukon Territory’s St. Elias Mountains, has retreated so rapidly that a few years ago it caused a river it once fed to disappear.

Image Credit: BobWC/istockphoto.

14. Grey Glacier, Chile

Tourists can view this crown jewel of Patagonia’s Torres del Paine National Park by foot or on the water.

Image Credit: davidionut/istockphoto.

15. Aletsch Glacier, Switzerland

This UNESCO World Heritage site in the Bernese Alps has been rapidly losing mass. It’s accessible to tourists via railway, cable cars, and trails.

Image Credit: mantaphoto/istockphoto.

16. Margerie Glacier, Alaska

The 21-mile-long Margerie Glacier feeds UNESCO World Heritage Site Glacier Bay. It’s a popular tourist attraction, although it’s not accessible by foot, only by air or water. It’s one of the only glaciers in its system that is stable, that is, neither growing nor retreating. See it before that changes.

Image Credit: sorincolac/istockphoto.

17. Eyjafjallajökull, Iceland

Eyjafjallajökull sits atop a volcano that last erupted in 2010 and caused massive ice melt and flooding. At 39 square miles, the ice cap is Iceland’s sixth largest. Tourists can see it as they travel about Iceland’s South Coast. It, along with Iceland’s other glaciers, is experiencing rapid melt (quite aside from the effects of volcanic eruptions).

Image Credit: Juan Carlos Hernández Hernández/istockphoto.

18. Saskatchewan Glacier, Canada

This spectacular ice river in Banff National Park, which is accessible via air or by foot, is in retreat along with other glaciers in the area.

Image Credit: ronniechua/istockphoto.

19. San Rafael Glacier, Chile

This active glacier in Patagonia regularly calves huge chunks of ice into a lagoon that is accessible to tourists. It’s retreating along with other glaciers in the region.

Image Credit: SteveAllenPhoto/istockphoto.

20. Surprise Glacier, Alaska

Surprise Glacier in Denali National Park and Preserve is easily accessible by cruise, and is famous for the icebergs that crash into Prince William Sound.

Image Credit: Winand Deerenberg/istockphoto.

21, Nigardsbreen, Norway

Nigardsbreen is a major tourist attraction that is losing mass along with the majority of Norway’s other glaciers.

Image Credit: Juan Carlos Hernández Hernández/istockphoto.

22. Ngozumpa Glacier, Nepal

Slow-moving Ngozumpa is the longest glacier in the Himalayas and has been shrinking along with other ice in that mountain range.

Image Credit: gagarych/istockphoto.

23. Upsala Glacier, Argentina

This gorgeous glacier in Patagonia has been in rapid retreat since 2008.

Image Credit: Anita Sagastegui/istockphoto.

24. Victoria Glacier, Canada

Victoria Glacier is the spectacular background for Lake Louise in Banff National Park. Visitors can take a hike for a closer look at the ice field, which has been in retreat for decades.


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Kris Collingridge

Kris Collingridge is MediaFeed’s syndication strategist. She has worked as a print and digital journalist and editor for nearly 20 years. She was arts & entertainment editor at Seattle-based news magazine ParentMap, then a producer and editor at MSN, where she drove audience engagement as programmer of the Travel section.