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Weather & Science

New Zealand Glaciers Shrinking at ‘Confronting’ Level

  • Annual aerial survey shows further contraction of snow, ice
  • ‘The scale of retreat is confronting, even to a glaciologist’
Changes to Brewster Glacier over three decades.
Changes to Brewster Glacier over three decades.Source: NIWA

New Zealand’s glaciers are retreating at a confronting pace, with scientists warning current trends will result in very little snow and ice covering the nation’s Southern Alps.

The glaciers are continuing to shrink in the face of climate change and an unusually hot summer, according to an annual scientific survey by the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research. The aerial survey is the 46th conducted since 1977 with the assistance of Victoria University of Wellington and the Department of Conservation.