Image Credit: Dima Zel/Shutterstock

Part of the Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, off the southeast coast of Alaska, can be seen in this detailed satellite imagery taken by the Copernicus Sentinel-2 campaign.

Covering more than 13,000 sq km (5,000 miles) of rugged, snowcapped mountains, pristine lakes, glaciers, and deep fjords, Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve is one of Alaska’s most impressive passages. With seawater making up about one-fifth of the park, Glacier Bay is rich in marine life, including humpback whales, orcas, and sea otters. It is also home to dozens of bears, moose, wolves, and mountain goats.

The harbor contains some of the most impressive glaciers in the world, descending from St. Petersburg. Elias Range to the east and the Fairweather Range to the west, with a few spectacular glaciers reaching the sea.

The Johns Hopkins Glacier, seen on the far left of the photo, is the most significant ice cream in the area. Muir Glacier, once famous for glaciers, once stood about 80 feet (260 feet) above water and was about 3 km (2 miles) wide but has now receded and receded and no longer reaches the sea.

Glacier Bay is just one of many areas suffering from global warming. The harbor is expected to be warmer and drier in the next 100 years, with widespread effects including declining glaciers, declining sea ice, and coastal erosion.

Monitoring glaciers is often challenging considering their size, distance, and rugged terrain. The satellites, including ESA’s CryoSat mission, with its elite spaceborne sensor – a radar altimeter – allow the recording of glaciers with great detail. In a study published last year in the Cryosphere, scientists used data from CryoSat machines to show how much ice was lost in the icebergs in the Gulf of Alaska.

On June 17, 2022, the opening of the exhibition “Earth’s Memory – glaciers witnesses the climate crisis,” which follows the scientific and photographic journey of glaciers worldwide, presents the results of the project “On the trail of the glaciers.” directed by Italian photographer Fabiano Ventura. The exhibition, held at the Forte di Bard Museum, Aosta Valley, Italy, offers visitors the opportunity to experience the effects of global warming on their own with both ESA images and satellite imagery.

The exhibition focuses on the world’s most enormous icebergs with a comparison of 90 photographs displayed next to scientific data collected during a group trip to the world’s largest glaciers. It runs until November 18, 2022, and includes images like the one featured in this week’s Earth program from space. More information on the exhibition, which is part of the scientific partnership between ESA and UNESCO-sponsored, can be found here.

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