GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT JUNEAU
Juneau is located in the south-east, at a latitude of about 58° north, and with its 30000 inhabitants, it is the capital of Alaska. There aren't streets or highways to connect the other towns or communities, because of the terrain and the geography. Transportation is instead made by sea and air.Juneau is a beautiful city, surrounded by mountains, glaciers, deep fjords, and green forests. Going a few mile outside the downtown, it isn't rare to encounter brown and black bears, bald eagles, mooses, and other wildlife. Thanks to the high annual rainfall of about 2500 millimeters per year, and to the high humidity (several continuous days of overcast sky with low couds and rain are quite frequent) the forests are extremely dense, everything is green, and the soil is often covered by an interrupted, very soft carpet of musks and lichens.Although the northen latitude, the climate is relatively mild, with fresh summers featured by an average temperature of +8 /+16 degrees celsius (sometimes exceeding 20 - 25 degrees) and cold winters when the temperature is around 0, sometime falling down to -10 or less.
The Mendenhall Glacier is a nice and huge glacier, located just 10 miles from Juneau's downtown, that ends inside a small lake. The glacier is 20 kilometers long, about 2.5 kilometers wide and 30 meters tall. The "ice flow" is of about 60 centimetrs per day, while the "retraction rate" is of about 7 to 10 meters each year. So the glacier is currently dieing and in a some century it will probably disappear, leaving just a deep fjord and valley in place of its ice. Often from the glacier's front, big masses of ice breaks down and start to navigate in the lake, in the form of enormous icebergs which will require months or even years to melt completely. In the feeding zone, the snow and the ice is between 500 and 1000 meters thick, anyway the oldest snow is o longer than 150 years old.