"In the '50s, it was unthinkable that this would melt," Vincent told the Chronicle Herald.
Yet, Vincent watched the glacier melt with his own eyes.
"With our camera, we captured the complete loss of this ice shelf," Vincent told the Chronicle Herald. "Suddenly our camera caught this open water, we think for the first time in thousands of years. The changes are extraordinary, particularly the last 10 years, and especially the last two years."
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Vincent placed the original note back in the bottle after adding his updated measurements.
Around the world, glaciers are dripping into nothingness with grave repercussions for people and other life. Glaciers naturally melt in spring and summer then reform in fall and winter.
However, as the planet's average temperature increases, the glaciers do more melting that growing. The loss of glaciers threatens the farms, cities, forests and other ecosystems that depend on rivers fed by the glaciers' spring thaw, according to numerous studies.
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For example, some rivers fed by the ice and snow of the Rocky Mountains now receive an increased flow in the early spring, but greatly reduced flow in late spring and summer, according to a study in the Journal of Hydrology. That decreased summer flow occurs just when forests most need the moisture.The study's authors predicted that these forests in the rivers' floodplains will shrink as the glaciers continue to melt.