Skip to main content

3 more glaciers gone from Mount Rainier

caption: Mt. Rainier on a crystal clear day.
Enlarge Icon
Mt. Rainier on a crystal clear day.

A warming climate has claimed three more glaciers in Washington state. All three were on Mount Rainier, which is home to more ice than any U.S. mountain south of Alaska.

Scientists with the National Park Service say that Stevens Glacier was gone as of 2021.

RELATED: RIP Washington’s Hinman Glacier, gone after thousands of years

Glaciologist Mauri Pelto looked at satellite imagery from last fall and says that he found that two other glaciers had dwindled down to ice patches, too small to be considered glaciers anymore.

“As we continue to have these warm summers and these heat waves, all the glaciers are going to really suffer, and any glacier that's not in pretty good form is going to be lost," Pelto says.

Park service researchers say Rainier has lost half its ice since the start of the 20th century. The losses have accelerated in recent years.

Pelto also notes that it’s too late to save the Northwest’s smaller glaciers, given the warming already baked into the climate by human pollution. But he says it’s not too late to slow global warming enough to save the Northwest’s bigger glaciers.

Read the full story on these lost glaciers here.

Why you can trust KUOW