Bering Glacier Alaska
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Bering Glacier, Alaska

August 3, 2004
Bering Glacier currently terminates in Vitus Lake south of Alaska's Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, about 10 km from the Gulf of Alaska. Combined with the Bagley Icefield, where the snow that feeds the glacier accumulates, the Bering is the largest glacier in North America. Warmer temperatures and changes in precipitation over the past century have thinned the Bering Glacier by several hundred meters. Since 1900 the terminus has retreated as much as 12 km. (The Bering Glacier ‘surges,' an acceleration of the flow rate of the glacier, every 20 years or so. During these periods the glacier terminus advances. The surges are generally followed by periods of retreat, so despite the periodic advances the glacier has been shrinking overall.) Most of the glaciers along the Alaskan coast are retreating along with the Bering Glacier.

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