A new study published in Nature Geoscience predicts the Salmon Glacier by Hyder, Alaska, will disappear by the end of the century.
The collaborative study included Brian Menounos, an earth science professor at the University of Northern British Columbia.
The study looked at western Canadian glaciers to predict how they’re expected to change in 50 to 100 years.
They found that glaciers in drier conditions by the Rockies will be gone by 2100.
The larger glaciers by the coast will be reduced by half, but Salmon Glacier won’t fare very well, being mostly gone.
Salmon Glacier is a popular tourist destination, but more importantly, it feeds a river system that is ecologically important to wildlife.
Menounos says glaciers act as a water reservoir for the late summer when the snow pack has melted, and if glaciers were to disappear, it would affect seasonal water flows.
That in turn would affect wildlife and whether there was enough water for dams to generate electricity.
He also says, with warming weather, the air will become more moist and there will be more rain, but not enough the replenish the glaciers.
He adds that glaciers are good indicator of long term climate change.
If all the glaciers in B.C. were to melt, the oceans would rise only 8mm.
But Menounos says taking into account all the other melting glaciers worldwide, and melting ice from the poles, it would be catastrophic for the world.