New Book By CU-Boulder Researcher Targets Columbia Glacier At Mid-Retreat

Published: Dec. 9, 2007

Alaska's Columbia Glacier, one of the most rapidly shrinking glaciers in the world that recently reached the mid-point of its projected retreat, is the subject of a new book by a University of Colorado at Boulder glaciologist.

The book titled "The Opening of a New Landscape: Columbia Glacier at Mid-Retreat," was published by the American Geophysical Union and is being released in conjunction with the fall AGU meeting being held Dec. 10 to Dec. 14 in San Francisco. Authored by CU-Boulder researcher Tad Pfeffer of the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research, the book charts the history of research on the Columbia Glacier -- which has shrunk by more than nine miles since 1980 -- and its impact on the landscape.

Pfeffer covers the retreat of the glacier over the past several centuries, describing the changing climate's effect on the glacier and the paradoxical opening of a new landscape of flora and fauna freed by the retreating ice. The hardcover book, priced at $49 for AGU members and $70 for nonmembers, contains 51 black-and-white photographs by Pfeffer, as well as 116 pages of text. Pfeffer is an award-winning photographer.

In the book, Pfeffer also traces the history and development of glaciological research in the United States, including innovative technology that has allowed scientists to precisely track real-time changes in glaciers around world. Pfeffer has been studying the Columbia glacier and other glaciers in Alaska, Canada and the western United States for more than three decades. For more information on the book visit the Web site at: