Watch A Glacier Disappear Right Before Your Eyes

Glacier

Photo: NASA’s Earth Observatory

In 1980, the Columbia Glacier¬†in Prince William Sound extended all the way to Heather Island.Since then, the glacier’s snout, or terminus, has retreated more than 12 miles, exposing prominent rings of brown bedrock. The mountain glacier has also lost about half of its total thickness and volume, according to NASA. ¬†

The following images track the glaciers rapid retreat over the last two decades. They were captured by NASA’s Landsat satellites using infrared scans. Snow and ice appear bright blue, vegetation is green, open ocean is dark blue and open rock is brown. ¬†

July 29, 1986

July 15, 1987

June 26, 1989

July 21, 1995

July 16, 1996

August 4, 1997

September 26, 1999

July 26, 2000

September 15, 2001

August 1, 2002

September 13, 2003

August 30, 2004

September 2, 2005

June 1, 2006

July 1, 2008

July 4, 2009

September 16, 2010

May 30, 2011

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