Yosemite Glacier Warmed to Death

Lyell“Yosemite’s famed Lyell Glacier has stopped moving downhill and may actually be shrinking – another probable sign that the world’s climate is warming, scientists report.

“It appears to have stagnated, and we strongly suspect that it has thinned to less than half the size that would keep it moving,” said Greg Stock, Yosemite National Park’s geologist who has been measuring the Lyell and nearby Maclure Glacier for the past four years with Robert Anderson of the University of Colorado.

The Lyell is small by world standards – only about a quarter of a mile wide and less than that long – but it stands atop the headwaters of the Tuolumne River, which feeds San Francisco’s Hetch Hetchy reservoir.

The glacier is the largest of 14 in the High Sierra that have shrunk by more than half during the past century, according to a recent survey by geologists at Portland State University in Oregon.
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