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How many Glaciers are there in the World?

  1. Mar 25, 2008 #1
    As strange as it may seem, I have not been able to come up with a reliable figure.

    I thought that it might be in the tens of thousands, but was suprised to find (in the process of researching this question) that Alaska alone has tens of thousands of Glaciers.

    Other than that, all I know is at least 48 countries are said to contain glaciers as part of their territory.

    So can someone help me answer this question.

    How many Glaciers are there in the world...?

    Thanks in Advance.

  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 31, 2008 #2

    jim mcnamara

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    Staff: Mentor

    Glaciers are not necessarily discreet separable entities, like rivers, nor are they all "named". Some parts of a single icemass have multiple names as well. In other words, I do not think thgere is a definitive answer to your question.

    Circa 10% of the earth's land surface is glaciated see:
    http://www.solcomhouse.com/icecap.htm [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 3, 2017
  4. Mar 31, 2008 #3


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    Gold Member

    And apparently, that includes virtually all of Canada, including the Great Lakes...
    Last edited by a moderator: May 3, 2017
  5. Apr 1, 2008 #4
    Well, it seems that this was thought to be so during the last glacial maximum around 20,000 years ago.
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