Glaciologist measuring a glacier

Glaciologist measuring a glacier

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Credit: DAVID HAY JONES/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Glaciology research. Glaciologist making notes after inserting an ablation stake into a hole drilled into the  Marmaglaciaren glacier, Swedish Lapland. The hole was made by a Heucke steam drill (hoses at left). An ablation stake of known depth is inserted at the end of the snow accumulation season (winter). At the end of the melting season (summer), the glaciologist will return and measure how much ice has melted by comparing the level to that of the stake. Comparing this value with the amount of snow accumulated gives the mass balance, the net change in the glacier over a year. This gives a valuable measure of the effects of climate change.

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