Glacier Melt in Google Earth

The National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) has released a web site called “The State of the Cryosphere“. The word “cryosphere” refers to low-temperature elements of weather such as ice and snow and includes sea ice, freshwater ice, snow, glaciers, frozen ground and permafrost. As most people are aware, we appear to be in a period of global warming and many parts of these frozen domains are melting. The NSIDC was formed in part by NOAA and has created this web site to help inform the public.
Recently the NSIDC has added a Google Earth file showing some of their data including links to snow and ice, permafrost and glacier data sets. You can see they have a few photographic pairs showing glaciers from a few decades ago, and photos now. The amount of glacial melt is astounding. The glaciers viewed from within Google Earth’s satellite photos using the 3D panning and tilting gives you some unique perspectives. Via OgleEarth.

About Frank Taylor

Frank Taylor started the Google Earth Blog in July, 2005 shortly after Google Earth was first released. He has worked with 3D computer graphics and VR for many years and was very impressed with this exciting product. Frank completed a 5.5 year circumnavigation of the earth by sailboat in June 2015 which you can read about at Tahina Expedition, and is a licensed pilot, backpacker, diver, and photographer.


  1. ‘Siachen glacier melting due to military activity’
    Press Trust of India
    Islamabad, December 30: Siachen glacier has been melting alarmingly more due to military activity of India and Pakistan than global warming, a new study has said.
    Siachen glacier was rapidly melting because of the ongoing military activity at the highest flashpoint of the world, according to the study conducted by Arshad H Abbasi, a consultant for the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).
    “Siachen is weeping, tomorrow the world will cry,” the excerpts of the study, pubished in the local daily The News, say.
    Siachen is the longest glacier in the non-polar regions from where the Nubara river originates and is a source of the Indus river in Pakistan which caters to 75 per cent of its irrigational requirements.
    Another study conducted by Pakistan’s Ministry of Water and Power confirmed the decline of cold temperatures in Siachen. Pakistan Meteorological Department on November 25 last year informed the government that the Himalayan glaciers, particularly Siachen, have been receding for the last 30 years, with losses accelerating to alarming levels in the past decade.
    “We are very much concerned over the development, but human activity with regard to the Siachen war could not be stopped until and unless the peoples of the two countries exert pressure upon their respective governments to stop the war,” it quoted an official as saying.
    The studies reportedly pointed out that during the last two decades, the melting of Siachen glacier has now been bracketed amongst the fastest in the world. Its retreat is evident from the snout (base of the glacier) and through the continuous thinning of ice along its entire length. Siachen, along with several other major tributary glaciers, reduced their volume by 35 per cent during the last twenty years and retreating at the rate of 110 metres per year.

  2. i need sombody to tell me what are three things a glacier does to the earth!! pleez help a gurl out here!

  3. Are you kidding me? What kind of question is that? How about you educate a “gurl” and find out for yourself. You obviously have access to the internet, a world wide web of information, so use it. Glaciers are worldly important and will soon cause great destruction if they continue to melt, which statistics show that it will only increase unless we take action now!

  4. samir obaid says:

    modern world face more problem of oce melting due to global warming

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