Photo Friday: Glacier Retreat in California

Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement at age 81 on Wednesday, effective July 31, 2018. Originally from Sacramento, California, Justice Kennedy was confirmed to the court in 1988 after his appointment by President Ronald Reagan. Since then, glaciers in his home state have seen considerable retreat. Mount Shasta in the Cascade Mountain range has glaciers.. These glaciers have experienced some advances but ultimately¬†retreat since a USGS survey in 1981, just several years before Kennedy took office. Whitney Glacier, the longest on Mt. Shasta, has lost over 20% of its length during Kennedy’s time on the Court.

This Photo Friday provides a look at the glaciers of California and the changes that have been seen during Kennedy’s time on the Supreme Court.

A 1993 Google Earth image depicts the advancement and retreat of Whitney Glacier (Source: Mauri Pelto).


Mount Shasta glaciers on September 20, 2012, as seen from the International Space Station (Source: NASA).


The Lyell Glacier in Yosemite National Park has lost over 80 percent of its surface area since the 19th century. (Source: National Park Service).


Darwin Glacier on August 14, 1908 (Source: G.K. Gilbert).


Darwin Glacier on August 14, 2004 (Source: H. Basagic).


Glacier retreat in the Sierra Nevada (Source: Hassan Basagic).