Whether you study it for evidence of climate change or hang it on your wall as art, this image of the Southern Patagonian Ice Field is extraordinary. The ice field fills all of Chile’s 8.7 million acre Bernardo O’Higgins National Park and then some. It is a remnant of the much larger ice sheet that covered all of southern Chile during the last glacial period. The terminus of O’Higgins Glacier can be seen protruding into O’Higgins Lake in the lower left of the photo.
In 2007 a glacial lake in the park vanished when pressure from accumulated melt water ultimately destroyed an ancient ice dam. Scientists have linked the accelerated melt rate to climate change.
Learn More: All About Glaciers is a comprehensive resource from the National Snow & Ice Data Center (NSIDC).
High School Classroom: http://nasawavelength.org/resource/nw-000-000-002-874/