Mystery and Adventure on the Blue Glacier

William A. Liggett — Dec 1, 2017

In his recent New York Times article, Nicholas Casey describes how the melting icecap in Peru has been a godsend to the deserts there: “Blueberries grow to the size of Ping-Pong balls in nothing but sand. Asparagus fields cross dunes, disappearing over the horizon . . . Farmers have moved here from the mountains, seeking new futures on all the irrigated land.”

The agricultural boon has raised the standard of living of the people in the area, enabling them to send their children to college.

It sounds like a dream come true, this much-welcomed positive news about global warming. But in reality, the future looks grim: the icecap will soon disappear—forever. The flow of water has been steadily declining, and by 2050, scientists estimate that it will stop altogether.

The people will then have to return to scratching a living on the barren land and going hungry—as well as dealing with the fallout: the melting icecap has unleashed long-buried heavy metals like lead and cadmium, contaminating the water supply and killing livestock and crops.

This is just one example of the many challenges our communities must face as global warming wreaks havoc on our lives.

I wrote my novel Watermelon Snow, in part, to draw attention to the loss of all alpine glaciers around the world.

The Blue Glacier and the nearby rain forest in the Washington wilderness provided the setting and inspiration for my adventure novel. I spent the summer there as an 18-year-old and recently visited to do research for this book.

Over the last hundred-plus years, this magnificent glacier has retreated significantly due to global warming. See the photos below.

At my book launch event, I presented a SLIDE SHOW depicting how this dramatic scenery led to my story. Find out what it was like to live on a glacier for three months, and experience the beauty and majesty of this magical yet dangerous place—which, sadly, will most likely disappear within the next 100 years.

Have you ever been to a glacier? Where? I’d love to hear about your experience. Please leave a comment below.

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Bill Liggett writes fiction that blends behavioral and earth sciences in the new literary genre “cli-fi,” or climate fiction. In Watermelon Snow, his first novel, a long-frozen virus melts from a glacier, threatening a pandemic. His second novel, Panic Peak, (in process) entails a plot to geoengineer the earth’s climate. The planned third novel in the trilogy paints a hopeful future, based on solutions to global warming.

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Tiffany Hansen
Tiffany Hansen
December 5, 2017 8:55 pm

Hi Bill, Tiffany Hansen here…Pat Hansen’s (Young) daughter. Mom told me about seeing you Saturday evening at the reunion event and forwarded your email to me. I am interested in your work, love your blog and would love to read your book. My boyfriend is an an AIARE instructor and started his Master’s degree in Snow Hydrology at CU. He currently is involved with the “Know Before You Go” program through CAIC (Colorado Avalanche Information Center). Our dwindling glaciers, and overall snow-pack is of GRAVE concern to us! I will follow your blog and will share it as I believe that I have friends who would love to know about your work. Sorry we missed your presentation at Neptune in June…how wonderful to see that it [Nepture Mountaineering] rose out of the ashes and is back, hopefully, in full glory! Thank you for your work. Thank you for sharing it.… Read more »