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Photos: Glacier meltdowns amid global warming

Before-and-after shots of various Alaskan glaciers reveals a dramatic landscape change accompanying a temperature delta.

Glacier meltdowns amid global warming

To study the impact of global warming, Bruce Molnia, a research geologist at the U.S. Geological Survey, decided to take contemporary photographs of Alaskan glaciers from the exact spot where photographers captured images around the turn of the century. The above photograph shows the bottom end, or calving terminus, of Muir Glacier in June 1899.

Credit: U.S. Geological Survey

Muir 1899

Glacier meltdowns amid global warming

This is a photo from the same location in 2003. Muir Glacier has disappeared from view. The distant glacier at the extreme right is actually Rigs Glacier, more than 20 miles to the north.

Credit: U.S. Geological Survey

Muir 2003

Glacier meltdowns amid global warming

This 1909 photo shows Toboggan Glacier, which was thinning at the time.

Credit: U.S. Geological Survey

Toboggan 1909

Glacier meltdowns amid global warming

Toboggan, now dispersed in patches, was photographed in 2000.

Credit: U.S. Geological Survey

Toboggan 2000

Glacier meltdowns amid global warming

This is a 1909 photograph of McCarty Fjord in Kenai Fjords National Park. The photo shows the west side of the retreating terminus.

Credit: U.S. Geological Survey

McCarty 1909

Glacier meltdowns amid global warming

This photo, taken from the same location in 2004, reveals that the glacier has retreated more than 10 miles. Dense vegetation has become established.

Credit: U.S. Geological Survey

McCarty 2004