Breathtaking Glaciers You Should See Before They Disappear

moreno glacier

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Glaciers form over many years, often centuries, and only on land, whereas icebergs float on the water. Together they hold most of the earth’s fresh waters, but many glaciers are disappearing. As the planet’s ice is rapidly melting, with glaciologists predicting that some of the world’s glaciers will be entirely gone within the next two to three decades, now is the time to see these especially breathtaking glaciers before they’re gone. Pictured above, the Perito Moreno Glacier sits within the heart of the Patagonian glacial region near Los Glaciares National Park. Here you can witness vast chunks of ice breaking away from the 19-mile-long glacier as they plunge into Lake Argentino below.

If you can get there anytime soon, you can get a glimpse of it here:

Vatnajokull Glacier, Iceland


Photo Credit: Andreas Tille via wikimedia

Vatna Glacier, or Vatnajokull as it’s officially known, covers nearly 8 percent of Iceland . Europe’s largest glacier, it soars over 6,500 feet and covers 3,100 square miles. The glacier is surrounded by Jokulsarlon, a stunning  lake with icebergs strewn across it.  There are some 40 outlet glaciers that spill from high ridges on its south side, and with all but one receding, now is the time to see just how Iceland got its name.

Furtwangler Glacier, Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania


south africa glacier

Photo Credit: Flickr: Appenz

The Furtwangler Glacier sits near the summit of Tanzania’s 19,330-foot-high Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak. It’s retreated dramatically over the past century, with 82 percent of the glacial ice disappearing between 1912 and 2000. By 2020, all of the glaciers in this region are expected to be gone – and they’ve capped the mountain for nearly 12,000 years.

Jostedalsbreen Glacier

Jostedalsbreen Glacier,

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Josedalsbreen, found in western Norway, is the largest glacier in continental Europe at 37 miles long, 2,000 feet deep, and it covers an area of 188-square miles. In the past, tracks and roads actually crossed this amazing ice sheet, linking western valleys and inland districts in south-east Norway. That would be impossible today as the glacier has shrunk significantly.

Margerie Glacier, Glacier Bay, Alaska

Margerie Glacier & Mt Fairweather

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This 21-mile-long and one-mile-wide glacier in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve can only be reached by air or water. Get to this pristine glacier with jewel-like blue ice by taking a cruise or tour boat. If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to witness calving, and the roaring sound of the ice cracking and plunging into the water below.