Earth's polar regions, widely considered to be an early barometer of global climate change, are the focus of a worldwide study effort called the International Polar Year. Scientists want to understand the changes that are occurring at the poles, because they have an impact far beyond their latitudes.
Alaska's Malaspina Glacier is considered a piedmont glacier, which occurs where valley glaciers exit a mountain range onto lowlands and spread to become wide lobes.
The image was created by the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission and Landsat.
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