Glacier output

Kittiwakes

The lower part of most glaciers will melt in summer. This has not much to do with climate change, but this is the natural state of most Arctic glaciers. In summer the lower part melts, in winter the upper part grows. As long as the growth in winter is more as the melt in summer, the glacier will grow and there is no problem. However, during the past decades almost all Arctic glaciers have receded at a rapid speed.

Due to this melt there are several meltwater streams inside the glacier. The water in this stream is always very nutrient rich as it carries lots of sediment scraped of the surface by the glacier. Because of this sediment the sea close to these streams has a lot of food, so also many birds like these Kittiwakes. These kittiwakes swim, dive for food and fly up together when the glacier starts to calve. Always a very nice sight.

Arjen Drost

Arjen is a Polar ecologist, nature photographer and full time expedition guide on expedition cruise ships in both Polar regions. With his pictures and stories he likes to show the beauty of these very fragile and threatened places.

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