When fallen snow compresses for many years to form large masses of ice. They have the unique quality of moving. Some glaciers may also defined as slow-moving rivers of ice, while others are like fields or ice. Glaciers occupy about 10% of the total land area of the world, with the highest concentrations in the polar regions like the Canadian Arctic, Antarctica, Greenland, Alaska, etc., the largest one of them being the Lambert Glacier in East Antarctica. However, many stunning glaciers also lie in the non-polar regions of the world. Let us take a look at 10 Most Amazing Glaciers Outside Polar Regions.
10. Gangotri Glacier
The Gangotri Glacier in Uttarakhand, India, I located in a region bordering China. It is considered an extremely important glacier in India as its terminus, Gomukh, is one of the main sources of the world’s third largest river by discharge, the Ganga, the major source of water and a sacred river in the country. One of the largest glaciers of the Himalayas, it is a traditional Hindu pilgrimage site.
9. Biafo Glacier
The Biafo Glacier of Pakistan is in the Karakoram Mountains. It has a length of 67km, and meets the 49km long Hispar Glacier at 5128m at Hispar La, to form the longest glacial system in the world’s non-polar regions. It serves as a highway between the ancient mountain kingdoms of Baltistan and Nagar. The third largest among the glaciers outside the polar regions, it offers a truly stunning view.
8. Mingyong Glacier
The Mingyong Glacier is located in the Yunnan of China, and is one of the glaciers in the Tibetan region which are melting at 7% annually, having retreated 200m in 4 years, and showing a rise in tree line, presumably due to global warming. Fed by the snows of Mount Meili, it is at the lowest elevation of all Chinese glaciers, at an elevation of 2700m. It is considered sacred by local peoples.
7. Perito Moreno Glacier
Perito Moreno Glacier of Argentina is in the Los Glaciares National Park in southwest Santa Cruz Province. One of the 48 glaciers to the fed by the Southern Patagonian Ice Field in the Andes system, and one of the three Patagonian glaciers that is still growing, it is the third largest reserve of fresh water in the world. It can be viewed from a boat ride in Lake Argentino or from a ride in a helicopter.
6. Pasterze Glacier
The Pasterze Glacier is located within the Hohe Tauern mountain range, in Carinthia, beneath the pyramid-shaped Grossglockner, the highest mountain in Austria. The Pasterze is the longest glacier in Austria, as well as in the Eastern Alps, with a length of 8.4km. One of the most amazing glaziers outside polar regions, it has reduced by half its volume, since its first measurement in 1851.
5. Fox and Franz Josef Glacier
The Fox Glacier and the Franz Josef Glacier are located in the Westland Tai Poutini National Park of South Island, New Zealand. The Fox Glacier is 13km in length, while the Franz Josef Glacier is 12km, and the two glaciers, set 20km apart, together have the unique feature of descending from the Southern Alps to a temperate rainforest full of greenery and lushness, at a height of less than 300m.
The Jostedalsbreen Glacier in the Sogn og Fjordane in Western Norway is the largest glacier in the continent of Europe. At a length of 60km, it is one of the world’s longest glaciers outside polar regions. Maintained by high snowfall instead of temperature, it has high melting rates in the snouts. It has around 50 glacier arms. Branches of the stunning Jostedalsbreen reach down to into valleys.
3. Furtwängler Glacier
The Furtwängler Glacier is located near the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, in the African Great Lakes region. The ephemeral glacier, existing since about 1650, is a small remnant of an ice cap that was once on top of the summit of the mountain, 85% of which disappeared between 1912 and 2011, and according to experts, “it is highly unlikely that any ice body will remain after 2060”.
2. Siachen Glacier
The Siachen Glacier, between India and Pakistan, is located in the Karakoram Range in the Himalayas, near their Line of Control. At a length of 76km, is the world’s longest glacier in a non-polar region. Because of the extensive glaciation of the watershed near which the glacier lies, the portion is called the Third Pole. Both India and Pakistan claim sovereignty over the Siachen Glacier.
1. Fedchenko Glacier
The Fedchenko Glacier, one of the largest glaciers in the world, is in the Pamir Mountains of the mountainous country of Tajikistan in Central Asia. It is a narrow glacier, with the maximum thickness being 1000m, but has a length of 77km, making it the longest of the glaciers outside polar regions. The Fedchenko and its dozens of tributary glaciers together form an amazing glacial river system.
There are several glaciers, be it in the polar regions or in other parts of the world. The glacial ice all over the world together forms the largest reservoir of fresh water. But, due to global warming, they are melting away, at a rapid rate. Man indiscriminately contributes to the rise in temperature, without realizing that this, in turn, melts the glaciers, which further creates a vicious cycle where the temperature goes even higher, increasing the water level of earth by several meters, disturbing the ecological balance and causing catastrophic natural disasters.