An old image of a melting glacier of Mendenhall Glacier in Alaska is viral on social media with a false claim that it captures moments after a glacial burst occurred in Uttarakhand's Chamoli district on February 7.
The image shows an advancing glacier over a stream.
The glacial burst of Raini village of Uttarakhand's Chamoli district on the morning of February 7 has resulted in massive flash flooding. According to reports, 32 bodies have so far been recovered and 206 people are still missing after the natural disaster. Rescue operations by the Indo Tibetan Border Police, Indian Army and NDRF are still on.
The caption of the viral post on Facebook shared by The Northeast Journal reads, "Pray For Uttarakhand #UttrakhandDisaster #glacier #GlacierBurst".
BOOM ran a reverse image search on the photograph and found the same image in the gallery of government website, National Science Foundation. The caption states that the image shows a melting glacier in Alaska, Mendenhall Glacier. It further states, "This photo shows new forests above the shrinking Mendenhall Glacier. It's rare to see a developing forest above a glacier. This picture highlights how these landscapes are rapidly changing."
Further, we found a blog by Live Science from March 5, 2010 which carried the same image claiming that it is a glacier stream in Alaska. This suggests that the image was clicked more than 10 years ago. BOOM could not independently verify the image, but was able to ascertain that it is not from the recent glacial burst in Uttarakhand.
According to a journal by a blog Adventure Journal, Alaskan glaciers in total lose ice at a rate of around 75 billion metric tons each year - states a 2015 study by the US Geological Survey and University of Alaska, Fairbanks. According to the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), in 2016 summer, glaciers were melting 70 percent faster than the typical rate, due to warming temperatures.
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