FRANZ JOSEF GLACIER
As we are all aware, the Planet that we know and love is heating up, glaciers are melting and dramatic seams of ice that have inspired Ancient legends, and world-wide explorers are under threat of being completely destroyed.
The New Zealand legend of Hine Hukatere, the mountain goddess and Wawe, the beach warrior, depict the importance of the glacier they call Ka Roimata o te Hine Hukater. Later named Franz Josef, this dramatic frozen seam and its deep heritage is an integral part of New Zealand’s Southern Alps.
As is with most glaciers, the Franz Josef glacier of compacted snow would advance slightly and then retreat as snow melts, which is the normal pattern for centuries. However, in recent times, the Franz Josef is only showing prominent signs of rapid retreat - 1.4km’s between 2008 and 2018.
Scarily enough, a survey conducted by glaciologist Trevor Chin, after the hottest summer recorded in New Zealand, revealed that most of the glaciers measured didn't have any snow left on them at all. Conclusively, Chin states such mass loss of the glacier is due to Sea temps rising and man-made climate change. Not only will NZ’s natural beauty take a strike, the tourism of Franz Josef and Fox Glacier will also feel an extensive impact due to the decline of glaciers. Guides can no longer lead tourists to the glacier by foot, and the allure of the glacier will no longer remain.