"I'm not pounding down the mayor's door saying we need to change our ways drastically," he said.

John Sykes of APU nears the top of Eklutna Glacier in 2010. The broad flat basin that makes up more than half of the glacier area is directly behind him. (Louis Sass)
John Sykes of APU nears the top of Eklutna Glacier in 2010. The broad flat basin that makes up more than half of the glacier area is directly behind him. (Louis Sass)

What is noticeable now, Sass said, is the rapid change at the narrow terminus that spills out to the end of the Eklutna Lake trail in Anchorage's Chugach State Park. That is retreating, with changes that are obvious to frequent recreational users who hike to the ice or climb on it, he said.

"It'll look almost like a totally different place year to year," he said. The aesthetic changes are minor; the big changes are far higher in elevation and further into the future, he said.

"In terms of the actual water quality and supply, that's going to take a longer amount of time," he said.