Glacier change in Garibaldi Provincial Park, southern Coast Mountains, British Columbia, since the Little Ice Age
Fluctuations of glaciers during the 20th century in Garibaldi Provincial Park, in the southern Coast Mountains of British Columbia, were reconstructed from historical documents, aerial photographs, and fieldwork. Over 505 km 2, or 26%, of the park, was covered by glacier ice at the beginning of the 18th century. Ice cover decreased to 297 km 2 by 1987-1988 and to 245 km 2 (49% of the early 18th century value) by 2005. Glacier recession was greatest between the 1920s and 1950s, with typical frontal retreat rates of 30 m/a. Many glaciers advanced between the 1960s and 1970s, but all glaciers retreated over the last 20 years. Times of glacier recession coincide with warm and relatively dry periods, whereas advances occurred during relatively cold periods. Rapid recession between 1925 and 1946, and since 1977, coincided with the positive phase of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), whereas glaciers advanced during its negative phase (1890-1924 and 1947-1976). The record of 20th century glacier fluctuations in Garibaldi Park is similar to that in southern Europe, South America, and New Zealand, suggesting a common, global climatic cause. We conclude that global temperature change in the 20th century explains much of the behaviour of glaciers in Garibaldi Park and elsewhere.