Scientists and policy makers from around the world are in Banff this week for a conference about climate change and the world's water supply.
On Wednesday, the group took a field trip to Athabasca Glacier in the Rocky Mountains to learn about research that is happening here in Canada.
The University of Calgary’s Shawn Marshall and his colleagues are trying to figure out how fast the glaciers are shrinking and what that means for our future water supply.
“What I hope to do with this research, and coming to meetings like this and talking to people, is to gradually, gradually get awareness out there, try to push people to think a little bit and get them to internalize some concern precautionary principle about how the planet is changing and to realize this is real, not theoretical — it's really happening.”
The Athabasca Glacier is five kilometres long and one kilometre wide. Marshall said most glaciers shrink by about 20 metres every year.
“[We’re] just trying to document and measure and understand these glaciers, to put numbers on rates of retreat, rates of change, see how much water comes off glaciers and what that means for the Bow River, for the North Saskatchewan River,” said Marshall.
The conference wraps up Friday.