MNN Galleries

7 countries battling water issues

New Zealand's largest glacier retreats

Photo: NASA/GSFC/Jeff Schmaltz/MODIS Land Rapid Response Team

4 of 9

Glacier melt in New Zealand

The country known for its pastoral landscapes is not exempt from environmental degradation. Experts note that the Tasman Glacier on the South Island is currently in fast retreat. Dr. Martin Brook, a lecturer in physical geography at Massey University, says “It’s just too warm for a glacier to be sustained at such a low altitude, 730 meters above sea level. So it melts rapidly and it is going to disappear altogether.”

 

The glacier is forming a lake around itself, one which did not exist as recently as 1973, Brook said.

 

This image of New Zealand was taken on March 30, 2011, by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard the Aqua satellite.