Success for the third expedition “On the Trail of the Glaciers – Alaska 2013

The third scientific-photographic mission of the project “On the Trail of the Glaciers” was concluded on July 22nd in Alaska.

Once again, the project brings home another success. Thanks to extraordinary meteorological conditions (4 weeks of good weather, an event that has not been repeated for 26 years), the expedition in Alaska ended with a rich ‘booty’: 27 photographic comparisons, 6 panoramas, geo-referencing of all images, a documentary in progress and a ready-made trailer, partnerships and prestigious collaborations and, above all, significant scientific results: documentation on the incredible glacier retreat. As shown by the shots of Fabiano Ventura, leader of the project, the fronts of the two most important glaciers, the Johns Hopkins and the Gran Pacific glacier, are set back over 15 km while the Read is set back about 3.5 km in little more of 100 years.

According to Prof. Motyka and his colleagues, the impressive disintegration of the Glacier Bay cap from the Little Ice Age to today has led to a loss of volume of 3450 km3 which is equivalent to an increase in the ocean of the entire planet of 1 cm.

Therefore, all studies aimed at understanding the cause of this enormous withdrawal are of great importance.
“The recent scientific discoveries – continues Scotti – help us to understand how such a rapid and violent withdrawal has been possible, also for this reason the history of Glacier Bay can teach a lot about what could happen in enormously bigger glacial areas like Greenland and Antarctica “.

The research team, coordinated by Claudio Smiraglia, expert glaciologist at the University of Milan, has put together the most expert researchers in the field of glaciology, coming from all over the world: Riccardo Scotti, (University of Milano Bicocca); Roman Mokitya (University Alaska Fairbanks); Jamie N. Womble, (Ph.D. Wildlife Biologist National Park Service); Bruce F. Molnia, (Ph.D. U.S. Geological Survey); Alessio Gusmeroli – (University Alaska Fairbanks); Eyal Saiet – (University Alaska Fairbanks). #

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