5 stunning glaciers in the world

What is a Glacier?

Glacier is a huge mass of ice formed with incessant accumulation of snow which over a period of years (even centuries) thickens into ice.  Such collection of snow in one location long enough for it to transform into solid ice has created glaciers that are at least the size of a football field, while the large ones can grow well beyond 100 kilometers in length.

Where they mostly found?

Glaciers, mostly located in polar regions like Antarctica and Greenland, currently occupy around 10% of the world’s total land area.  Interestingly, glacial ice is the largest reservoir of freshwater on our planet, supporting no less than one third of the world’s population.  Owing to their sheer size and mass, glaciers also flow like very slow rivers and also break off. The separated chunk of a glacier which breaks off is popularly known as an iceberg.

In this post we are going to explore 5 stunning icebergs

The five stunning glaciers of the world include:

Aletsch Glacier:

Aletsch Glacier

Image credit: Flickr Ed Coyle Photography

Located in Switzerland, Aletsch Glacier is the largest glacier in the Alps with a length of about 14 miles and covering more than 46 sq miles of ice. The Aletsch Glacier, composed by 3 smaller converging glaciers, travels downward into the Rhone valley.  The Aletsch Glacier including the other glaciers in the whole area is part of the Jungfrau-Aletsch Protected Area was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in the year 2001.

Perito Moreno Glacier:

Perito Moreno Glacier

Image credit: Flickr aviachar

Located in Argentina, the Perito Moreno Glacier is one of the most important tourist attractions in the Argentine Patagonia.  The glacier is 19 miles in length, 3 miles wide with an ice formation of 97 sq miles.  Perito Moreno Glacier is one of three Patagonian glaciers that are not retreating unlike many other glaciers that are depleting primarily owing to global warming.

Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers:

Fox and Franz Josef glaciers

Image credit: Flickr gregor_ronald

Both these glaciers are located in Westland Tai Poutini National Park on the West Coast of New Zealand’s South Island and are a major tourist attraction primarily due to the fact that they are the most accessible glaciers in the world.

The Fox Glacier which got its name in 1872 when the then PM of New Zealand Sir William Fox visited the place, is around 8 miles long.  The 7.5 mile long Franz Josef Glacier was named after Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria.

Both the glaciers descend the steep mountain sides to New Zealand’s west coast.

Baltoro Glacier:

Baltoro Glacier

Image credit: Flickr digi.rebay

Located in Baltistan in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan, the Baltoro Glacier with a length of 38.5 miles is one of the longest glaciers outside the polar regions.  The glacier runs through part of the Karakoram, a large mountain range spanning the borders between India, Pakistan & China.  The glacier gives rise to the Shigar River, which is a tributary of the Indus River.

Glaciers of Kilimanjaro:

Glaciers of Kilimanjaro

Image credit: Flickr USAF7Summits

The world-renowned glaciers of Kilimanjaro in Tanzania are now talked about for a different reason.  These glaciers are probably the ones experiencing consistent melting.  In fact, these glaciers are estimated to have shrunk by almost 80% and thus being a major cause of worry for scientists, environmentalists and others.  The shrinkage is attributed to 2 factors – increase in global temperatures and diminished snowfall at Kilimanjaro’s summit. Climate change experts believe that if current conditions persist, Kilimanjaro’s world-renowned glaciers, which have covered Africa’s highest peak for centuries, will be gone within the next 2 decades.

One Response to 5 stunning glaciers in the world
  1. Taimur Asad
    November 2, 2012 | 3:28 pm

    What about Siachin Glacier

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