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Melting Glaciers Unveil Mysteries From the Past Including an 84-Year-old WWII Plane
Hikers walk next to a part of the Rhone Glacier, covered with insulating foam to prevent it from melting, near Gletsch on August 3, 2018, as a heatwave sweeps across northern Europe. (Photo by FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)

As the planet heats up, glaciers are melting at a catastrophic rate. Colombia's glaciers have lost a third of their mass since the mid-1990s and are expected to be gone in 30 years. Glacier National Park in Montana was named for the 150 or so glaciers present when it was established in 1910, but today it has fewer than 26. Researchers believe that most central and eastern Himalayan glaciers will be gone by 2035. The largest glacier in Greenland has lost more ice in the last 15 years than it did in the previous 100, and scientists predict that when all of Greenland’s ice is gone, sea levels around the world will rise 20 feet.

“The changes we are witnessing are amazing,” says Eric Rignot, a professor at The University of California, Irvine and a senior scientist on a NASA team that’s traveled to Greenland to try to better understand exactly how quickly its glaciers are melting. “None of us expected to see such changes in Greenland.”

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