As the largest of 20 major glaciers in Alaska’s Juneau Icefield and one of the single thickest glaciers in the world, Taku had been demonstrably gaining mass and spreading farther into the nearby Taku river for nearly half a century, while all of its neighboring glaciers shrank. Now, it appears those glory days are over.
In a new pair of satellite photos shared by NASA’s Earth Observatory, the slow decline of Taku Glacier has finally become apparent. Taken in August 2014 and August 2018, the photos show the icy platforms where the glacier meets the river retreating for the first time since scientists began studying Taku, in 1946.
According to glaciologist Mauri Pelto, who has studied the Juneau Icefield for three decades, Taku was predicted to continue advancing for the rest of the century. "To be able to have the transition take place so fast indicates that climate is overriding the natural cycle of advance and retreat that the glacier would normally be going through," Pelto said.
glacier：名词，冰川、冰河。例句：The Taku Glacier measures 1480 meters from surface to floor.
retreat：名词，退缩；动词，后退。例句：From 2013 to 2018, advancement stopped — then, in 2018, the Taku Glacier started to retreat.
transition：名词，过渡、转变。例句：Taku’s transition from growth to decay seems to have lasted only a few years.