SAN FRANCISCO, October. 8 (Xinhua) - Nearly all glaciers in the western United States are going to melt and disappear in about 50 or more years, a glaciologist said in an interview made public Tuesday.
There are about 5,000 glaciers in the U.S. west and they are all disappearing, Andrew Fountain, from Portland State University (PSU) in the U.S. state of Oregon, told KGW8, a virtual TV channel licensed to Portland City, Oregon.
Fountain said he and his team found from satellite and aerial photographs that glaciers in Washington State's Olympic National Park are all shrinking.
An aerial photo taken in 2010 showed the Lillian Glacier in the Olympic Mountains in the park, which was expansive in 1905, is nearly gone.
"With business as usual, the glaciers will disappear probably by 2070, 2080," Fountain warned.
He added that the melt will probably lead to rising sea levels that flood coastal communities, which will be the biggest impact of the environmental change.
Fountain is one of more than 100 speakers at the 10th annual Northwest Climate Conference, which is taking place this week in Portland.
Organizers had said earlier that the three-day regional climate conference will attract a host of experts from Alaska and Montana to Southern California, who will share their latest research and their views on water quality impacts, drought, wildfires, and public perception of climate change in the Pacific Northwest.