WORD LISTS

Melting Glaciers

May 18, 2009
By Ben Zimmer (New York, NY)Visual Thesaurus ContributorVisual Thesaurus Moderator
Vocabulary from New York Times article, "As Alaska Glaciers Melt, It's Land That's Rising" (5/18/09):
http://www.nytimes.com/learning/students/pop/articles/18juneau.html

List created with VocabGrabber:
http://www.visualthesaurus.com/vocabgrabber/
meltwater
And meltwater carries the sediment scoured long ago by the glaciers to the coast, where it clouds the water and silts up once-navigable channels.
silt up
And meltwater carries the sediment scoured long ago by the glaciers to the coast, where it clouds the water and silts up once-navigable channels.
hydrologist
Eventually, as the land rises and the channel silts up, Douglas Island will be linked to the mainland by dry land, said Eran Hood, a hydrologist at the University of Alaska Southeast and an author of the 2007 report.
tectonics
"When you combine tectonics and glacial readjustment, you get rates that are incomprehensible," Dr. Molnia said.
wetland
As the sea level falls relative to the land, water tables fall, too, and streams and wetlands dry out.
water table
As the sea level falls relative to the land, water tables fall, too, and streams and wetlands dry out.
global warming
Global warming conjures images of rising seas that threaten coastal areas.
conservancy
In addition to expanding the golf course, Mr. DeBoer is negotiating with the Nature Conservancy to preserve some of the newly emergent land.
glacial
The geology is complex, but it boils down to this: Relieved of billions of tons of glacial weight, the land has risen much as a cushion regains its shape after someone gets up from a couch.
climate change
But in Juneau, as almost nowhere else in the world, climate change is having the opposite effect: As the glaciers here melt, the land is rising, causing the sea to retreat.
sea level
As a result, the relative sea level is falling, at a rate "among the highest ever recorded," according to a 2007 report by a panel of experts convened by Mayor Bruce Botelho of Juneau.
sediment
And meltwater carries the sediment scoured long ago by the glaciers to the coast, where it clouds the water and silts up once-navigable channels.
grassland
In and around Juneau, "you can walk around and see what was underwater is turning into grassland and eventually into forest," Dr. Hood said.
shoreline
Where the shoreline is relatively flat, "it doesn't take much uplift to make quite a bit of difference," Mr. DeBoer said.
ecosystem
The topographical changes have threatened crucial ecosystems and even locally vital species like salmon.
greenway
"There are a lot of people in town saying, Let's just let it return to a greenway."
geologist
Greenland and a few other places have experienced similar effects from widespread glacial melting that began more than 200 years ago, geologists say.
boggy
When that happens, Dr. Hood said, the Mendenhall Wetlands State Game Refuge, 4,000 acres of boggy habitat, will be lost.
topographical
The topographical changes have threatened crucial ecosystems and even locally vital species like salmon.
dry land
Eventually, as the land rises and the channel silts up, Douglas Island will be linked to the mainland by dry land, said Eran Hood, a hydrologist at the University of Alaska Southeast and an author of the 2007 report, "Climate Change: Predicted Impacts on Juneau."
environs
As the Pacific plate pushes under the North American plate, Juneau and its hilly Tongass National Forest environs rise still more.
habitat
When that happens, Dr. Hood said, the Mendenhall Wetlands State Game Refuge, 4,000 acres of boggy habitat, will be lost.
species
The topographical changes have threatened crucial ecosystems and even locally vital species like salmon.
crust
The rise is further fueled by the movement of the tectonic plates that form the earth's crust.
refuge
When that happens, Dr. Hood said, the Mendenhall Wetlands State Game Refuge, 4,000 acres of boggy habitat, will be lost.

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