Melting Glaciers Tied to Ecotourism — and Peril
Icy destinations occasionally result in freak accidents.
As climate change accelerates, glaciers are becoming a tourist trap – and an increasing danger. A new article in The Atlantic covers the transformation of glaciers into destinations for spectators, and the unfortunate reality that melting glaciers can cause freak accidents.
Last July, accidents at glaciers killed two people at disparate Alaska locations on the same day. A falling ice ceiling killed a woman on Byron Glacier, and a rock that dropped from Worthington Glacier killed a child. Though accidents like these are rare, melting glaciers create more possibilities for such tragedies, and require greater security measures to be taken by glacier gatekeepers.
The root of glacier tourism, according to The Atlantic, likely has something to do with growing awareness of climate change. People are scrambling to see some of Alaska’s great glaciers before they warm up and fall apart, while those glaciers simultaneously become less stable.
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