25 years of a glacier melting, sped up into a gif that lasts one second

Bethan McKernan@mck_beth
Friday 27 November 2015 15:20
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A glaciologist who studied the Karakoram mountain range on the borders of China, India and Pakistan has sped up the movement of the range's glaciers 800 million times to show in less than a second how they've changed over 25 years.

Dr Frank Paul, who works at the University of Zurich, took satellite images from between 1990-2015 and stitched them together to show the ebb and flow of the ice over time.

The glaciers are shown as cyan, clouds in white, water in dark blue, vegetation in green and bare terrain in pink to brown.

The mountain range, which includes the famous K2, is an unusual area of study, as the Karakoram glaciers are advancing rather than retreating and at times even flowing into each other.

Writing in the journal Cryosphere, Paul said:

The animations are a very practical way to get a better overview and follow the changes through time... The most interesting insight is to really see how the glaciers flow and how the individual parts of the glaciers such as the tributary streams interact.

The animations are of four regions — Panmah, Baltoro, Skamri-Sarpo Laggo and Shaksgam.

In the image above, the Panmah and Choktoi glaciers surge and flow into each other as time passes.

In the Baltoro glacier shown below, the top of the glacier moves over vast distances, while the lower part moves much more slowly.

HT: Gizmodo

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