Majestic glaciers in Alaska: Then and now

If you’re looking at something but don’t have anything to compare it to, it’s hard to know what’s really going on. Maybe you meet someone for the first time and think they look a little sick, so you think they’re not doing too well. But if you had met them a year ago when they were terminally ill, you’d think that today’s health was a huge improvement. Everything’s relative. It’s all about your frame of reference.

That’s the idea behind repeat photography. Some things change fairly slowly, like glaciers that may take thousands of years to form or melt, so comparing photos taken at many years’ interval is the best way to see how things are evolving. The U.S. Geological Survey has been doing exactly that with a series of photos of glaciers from Alaska. Most were shot in the Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, Kenai Fjords National Park and the northwestern Prince William Sound area of the Chugach National Forest.

The change between past and present is striking.

See for yourself…

 

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