An Alaska glacier thaws giving way to a secret hidden forest in a bittersweet story. On Sept. 21, MSN News reported that the glacier melted uncovering a 1,000-year-old forest. Several tree stumps were visible as daylight shined through the area for the first time in almost forever. According to the report, 36.8 square miles has retreated about 170 feet each year since 2005.
"There are a lot of [stumps], and being in a growth position is exciting because we can see the outermost part of the tree and count back to see how old the tree was," said Cathy Connor, an Alaskan geology professor.
Alaska glacier thaws are nothing new. While some of these huge icebergs are uncovering some amazing sites (like this forest), it's hard to really appreciate it because the melting is not a good sign. The amount of melting going on in the world has been a scary realization for many people who realize that global warming is a real problem. While it may not directly affect you in this life, it will become a very serious problem in the future.
And then of course there are people who don't think that global warming is the problem or a problem... but that has been a debate for many, many years.
This Alaska glacier thaws at an accelerated rate and while the forest might be something new to the area, the melting rate is something more important for people to pay attention to.
© Effie Orfanides 2013