Tuesday, April 8, 2014


Count-down:  39 days until departure for Alaskan Adventure

Ailik Glacier in Kenai from Wikipedia Commons

I’ve always been fascinated with prehistory.  My favorite animals when I was five were Brachiosaurus, T-Rex, saber toothed cats, and Wooly Mammoths.  There was so much mystery and magic thinking about those giants walking the Earth.  I wished I had a window through time to watch them..
A glimpse into this wild past can be had through Earth’s lone survivors of prehistory. 


Ten percent of Earth’s land is currently covered by these frozen rivers of ice that still carve magnificent masterpieces through the planet’s crust.  

In 2007, an almost perfectly frozen baby mammoth emerged from the ice in Siberia after nearly 40,000 years.  Some glaciers have held fast to their secrets for hundreds of thousands of years. What other secrets might be locked away in the depths of glaciers?

By drilling into the ice and taking core samples, scientists have begun to discover what has been hidden.  Like tree rings, the rings of ice can be examined to give us clues to the past.  Tiny air bubbles trapped from the ancient atmosphere tell us what gases were present, temperature variations and the types of plant life that existed.  

I’m excited to have the chance to see these magnificent links to our past before they are gone.  There are still over 100,000 glaciers in Alaska that hold about 75% of the state’s freshwater locked inside.  But many of them having been making a steady retreat.  In 1794 when Captain George Vancouver explored the Gulf of Alaska almost the entire area of Glacier Bay was covered with ice.  By 1916 the 4000 foot thick glacier had retreated 65 miles and continues its retreat today.  

Other facts about glaciers:

The Antarctic ice sheet is the world’s largest glacier covering 98% of that continent

Glaciers are often blue because their super compressed layers absorb all colors in the spectrum and reflect mostly blue

The Malaspina Glacier in Alaska is about 850 square miles, almost size of Rhode Island.

Kathy :)

To read more about glaciers check out these sites:


  1. Wow, I didn't realise that about glaciers nor that they were blue. A natural wonder of our world.

  2. Just hope none fall in the ocean while you are close! Although that would be amazing to see.

  3. Oooh, great G post! Learned something new today :) And I am so so jealous of your upcoming trip!

    Sarah Allen
    (From Sarah, With Joy)

  4. I never realised how much you could find out from a glacier!

  5. Cool! Do you think you'll get to see any glaciers while you're up there?

  6. Glaciers are very cool...pardon the pun. I've never seen one "in the flesh". One more reason for me to be envious of you and your forthcoming trip.