This is only a Preview!

You must Publish this diary to make this visible to the public,
or click 'Edit Diary' to make further changes first.

Posting a Diary Entry

Daily Kos welcomes blog articles from readers, known as diaries. The Intro section to a diary should be about three paragraphs long, and is required. The body section is optional, as is the poll, which can have 1 to 15 choices. Descriptive tags are also required to help others find your diary by subject; please don't use "cute" tags.

When you're ready, scroll down below the tags and click Save & Preview. You can edit your diary after it's published by clicking Edit Diary. Polls cannot be edited once they are published.

If this is your first time creating a Diary since the Ajax upgrade, before you enter any text below, please press Ctrl-F5 and then hold down the Shift Key and press your browser's Reload button to refresh its cache with the new script files.


  1. One diary daily maximum.
  2. Substantive diaries only. If you don't have at least three solid, original paragraphs, you should probably post a comment in an Open Thread.
  3. No repetitive diaries. Take a moment to ensure your topic hasn't been blogged (you can search for Stories and Diaries that already cover this topic), though fresh original analysis is always welcome.
  4. Use the "Body" textbox if your diary entry is longer than three paragraphs.
  5. Any images in your posts must be hosted by an approved image hosting service (one of: imageshack.us, photobucket.com, flickr.com, smugmug.com, allyoucanupload.com, picturetrail.com, mac.com, webshots.com, editgrid.com).
  6. Copying and pasting entire copyrighted works is prohibited. If you do quote something, keep it brief, always provide a link to the original source, and use the <blockquote> tags to clearly identify the quoted material. Violating this rule is grounds for immediate banning.
  7. Be civil. Do not "call out" other users by name in diary titles. Do not use profanity in diary titles. Don't write diaries whose main purpose is to deliberately inflame.
For the complete list of DailyKos diary guidelines, please click here.

Please begin with an informative title:

It is not the intention of this diary to convince anyone that human caused global warming /climate change is causing the graphic change to the Denver glacier visible in the photos below, though I am personally firmly convinced that overwhelming scientific evidence demonstrates that human caused impacts to climate systems are, at the very least least, exacerbating some of the changes that we are experiencing in many places on Earth. I do, however, find the progression demonstrated in the images dramatic and compelling, and figured some of you all may as well.

The Denver glacier, near Skagway, Alaska, is the northern most of the 40 glaciers that compose the Juneau Icefield. The Icefield offers amazing opportunities for outdoor adventuring.

Stretching 90 miles from Juneau, Alaska north to Skagway, the Juneau Icefield is one of the world’s largest non-polar masses of snow and ice. Though seemingly remote and inhospitable, its close proximity to Alaska’s capital city draws tourists, adventurers, students, and scientists to its lush, rain-forest-rimmed perimeter and its barren interior.
The area of the Icefield is approximately 1500 square miles, and 39 of the 40 glaciers are retreating. For a more global perspective of the ongoing massive loss of glacial ice, check out the film Chasing Ice. The Juneau Icefield Research Project was established in 1948, and continues to this day.
Recognizing that glaciers record hundreds, or even thousands of years of climate events, in 1948 Maynard lead a small group of explorers on a reconnaissance of the Juneau Icefield to investigate its potential for climate research and the feasibility of establishing a long-term glaciological research program. Thus began one of the longest continuous-running programs of its kind in the world. Dedicated to education and science, and now in its 7th decade, the Juneau Icefield Research Program (JIRP) continues to attract students and scientists from around the world.
The founder, Maynard Miller, was ironically a Republican state legislator in Idaho. He was also my neighbor when I lived in Moscow, Idaho, and was a full-time environmental activist back in the 1990s. We butted heads on forest policy, and on an unconstitutional law Idaho passed, which is still on the books, that makes it a felony to "solicit or conspire" to commit the misdemeanor crime of inhibiting a logging operation. But I respect and admire the work he has done with the JIRP. He recently passed.

I became acquainted with the Denver glacier in 1998 while spending my second summer in Alaska and my first in Skagway. I started guiding hikes for the locally owned and operated tour company I now manage. One of the places we take people is the Denver Glacier Trail, which is in the Tongass National Forest and is not accessible by road. We access the trial via a historic railroad built during the Klondike Gold Rush of 1897-1899.

I am fortunate to be able to visit the Denver Valley regularly, but those frequent visits make the changes more subtle and hard to notice. For example, there is a spot I like and that I gauge to be near where the 1912 photo (below) was taken. In 1998 you could view  a small chunk of ice crawling down the mountain from this spot. No one remembers quite when the ice disappeared from view at Nap Rock, but it did.

Follow me down the trail for the photos...


You must enter an Intro for your Diary Entry between 300 and 1150 characters long (that's approximately 50-175 words without any html or formatting markup).

We'll start almost exactly 100 years ago in 1912.

Denver Glacier near Skagway, Alaska 1912
And the same photographer, Douglas Brown, returned in 1938.
Denver Glacier near Skagway, Alaska 1938.
Twenty years later Marion T. Millet took some photos of the nearby Laughton Glacier on August 7, 1958, and then, apparently, took the chop-choo south and snapped this shot and some others of the Denver glacier the next day.
Denver Glacier near Skagway, Alaska 1958
Finally, a contemporary shot of what little is left of this part of the Denver (there is more to it but you have to work much harder to get there or take a helicopter). You have to hike another 3/4 of a mile, or so, to get a glimpse these days. And if the clouds are low you still might not see it.
Denver Glacier near Skagway, Alaska Circa 2010.
This one was taken by my friend Erin Martha Grover in 2010.
The historical photos are courtesy of the National Snow & Ice Data Center.
Extended (Optional)

Originally posted to MisterWade on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 06:13 PM PST.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

Your Email has been sent.