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Science Briefing

Nearly all Alaska glaciers declining

October 11, 2008|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

More than 99% of Alaska's large glaciers are in retreat or thinning, a new book by the U.S. Geological Survey says.

Glaciers in nearly every mountain range and island group are experiencing "significant retreat, thinning or stagnation," particularly those at lower elevations, according to "The Glaciers of Alaska," the agency said Monday.

About 5% of Alaska is covered by more than 100,000 glaciers. Those at elevations below 4,900 feet are retreating the most. Some glaciers at higher attitudes, where temperatures are lower, have expanded.

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