Changing glaciers

One of the questions I get asked most when I tell at home about my job as an expedition cruise guide in Polar regions is if I see the effects of climate change. The answer is a clear YES! Most of the time I reply with answers about the disappearing sea ice, but the glaciers are retreating as well. And at a fast pace. Ship cruising glaciers now is far less spectacular as it was 10 years ago. Not only are the rules a bit stricter about how close you can get (for good reasons), but most glaciers have receded, leaving over a mile of uncharted water where the ship can’t sail.

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Monacobreen with Seligerbreen in the far right in 2013

At other glaciers we see islands appear from under the glacier. At the Monacobreen one of these islands, which appeared about 10 years ago, is now already over 1km from the glacier front.

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Monacobreen (l) and Seligerbreen (r) in 2016

And at some places you can see the actual retreat. The pictures in this post are from more or less the same stretch of the Monacobreen, where it once formed one glacier front with the Seligerbreen. Each year we see the two glacier fronts further apart from each other. And these are only pictures of the last 4 years… One of my projects for later this year is to go further back in my archive to see if I can find pictures from earlier years.

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Monacobreen (l) and Seligerbreen (r) in 2017

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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