Evan Burgess' Alaska glacier studies featured on KSL

It's no secret that glaciers around the world are disappearing. But in Alaska, the pace of the meltdown is so rapid that glacier expert Evan Burgess who moved there from Utah says it changed his view of climate change.

"I didn't really believe that climate change was a big enough deal to be a problem," Evan Burgess said. "But coming up here has really changed my whole perspective on that."  Say what you will about the causes of climate change, according to Burgess, the meltdown is for real in Alaska. It's rapid and it's getting faster.

"Each year Alaska is losing about 50 cubic kilometers of ice," Burgess said, as he paddled a kayak toward the shrinking Portage Glacier near Anchorage in a recent trip with KSL News.  "That's (the equivalent of) about three full Great Salt Lakes draining out of these mountains every single year," he said. "So, that's a lot of ice going into the oceans."

Burgess recently finished his Ph.D. in geography at the University of Utah studying with Dr. Rick Forster and specializing in glaciology. He has also studied glaciers in Greenland; and earlier this year he moved to Alaska to work for the U.S. Geological Survey and the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

KSL report by John Hollenhorst 10/29/2013

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(Photo: John Hollenhorst/KSL News)