The Comox Glacier on Sept. 28, 2013 (top) and Sept. 28, 2020 (bottom). Photos by Fred Fern

LETTER – Comparative photos show diminishment of Comox Glacier in past seven years

Dear Editor

On September 28th, 2020, continuing an ongoing seven-year project, I took a close-up photograph of the Comox Glacier, showing new rock exposure on all sides of the glacier, and a new big exposed rock right in the middle.

This means the glacier will probably continue to melt not only from the outer edges inward, but from the middle too. Using the tilt tool on Google Earth and overlaying the 2013/2020 photos, you can come up with an estimate of vertical ice loss with the ruler toolset to feet. A rough estimate comes to around an 80-foot vertical drop these past seven years. The loss of this banked water reserve will undoubtedly affect our river levels in summer, and deplete our aquifers.

There is also no doubt that federal, provincial, and local government water policies are heading away from what the science, and our own eyes, are telling us we should be doing in terms of water conservation. Climate deniers must share some of the responsibility for us heading in the wrong direction. Maybe people can think about the primacy of environmental issues as they head to the ballot box in the provincial election.

The time is fast approaching when there is going to be a choice between saving wild salmon, or using their stream, river, and lake water for our drinking. Ultimately, it will be a battle, neighbour against neighbour, for the dwindling groundwater supply. Development in the Comox Valley must be reconsidered until we know exactly where the water is going to come from. Maybe we need more discussion on the use of cisterns, and trying to collect our own water, on a mass scale, instead of taking from the natural system.

Fred Fern,

Merville

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This photo is zoomed in to show a new big exposed rock centre. Photo by Fred Fern

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