Scientists, tribe study shrinking Washington state glacier

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The classic yacht Gyrfalcon with Mt. Baker and Double Bluff in the background.

MOUNT BAKER, Wash. (AP) — Glaciers on Mount Baker and other mountains in Washington state’s North Cascades are thinning and retreating. Seven have disappeared over the past three decades, and the overall volume of glaciers in the range have lost about one-fifth of their volume.

Glaciologist Mauri Pelto hikes into the North Cascades every year to study how the mountain glaciers are responding to climate change.

He says this winter’s record low snowpack and warm summer temperatures have made it the worst he’s seen in more than three decades.

The glaciers of Mount Baker provide a critical water source for the region, and scientists are concerned about the impact it will have on cities, farmers, tribes and wildlife.

The Nooksack Indian Tribe has teamed up with Pelto to study the glacier.

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