Not too long ago, we posted about how climate change is specifically affecting the West, according to “How The West Was Warmed.” Now the Colorado Independent reports on one yardstick: According to a study, Glacier National Park may be glacierless in a decade.
the U.S. Geological Society is reporting that Montana’s Glacier National Park will be glacier-less in a decade. Scientists had previously estimated that the park’s signature glacier-grade ice fields would last until 2030.
“There are only about 26 glaciers left now. There were 150 in the late 1800s,” he said.
So. Any ideas for a new name for the park? I’d guess they’d want something by 2017 or 2018 — don’t know how long it takes to order signage and new brochures.
A little more information:
“To be clear, the predicted absence of glaciers in the park after 2020 doesn’t mean everything will be dry. There will still be ice and ‘permanent’ snowfields. However, the size will be below the threshold of a glacier. Mountain glaciers are defined by a minimum size and physical properties, especially movement and replenishment.”
Bam. WELCOME TO “PERMANENT” SNOWFIELD NATIONAL PARK. “It’s ‘majestic!’” Who’s with me?
Want to get some exercise and help the Rocky Mountain Nature Association raise a million clams? Now’s your chance: According to the Coloradoan, somebody has gone and given the association, which promotes educational programs and operates bookstores at the park and in visitors’ centers around the state, $1 million, with a catch:
The anonymous donor pledged $1 million to the association as long as it matches the donation dollar for dollar this year.
In the future, there may be fewer snow-capped peaks to gaze at in Rocky Mountain National Park.
The meadows on the west side of the park may change as the climate warms and dries, making them less hospitable to moose and pine martens, and aspens across the park may disappear along with the plants that call the tundra home.
These are the dire predictions of a report released yesterday by the Rocky Mountain Climate Organization and the Natural Resources Defense Council, which called climate change “the greatest threat ever” to national parks.
The report, called National Parks in Peril, listed the 25 parks most at risk of climate change and included two in Colorado: RMNP and Mesa Verde.
From the report’s Colorado fact sheet:
Mesa Verde is vulnerable to a loss of water, more downpours and floods, a loss of plant communities, a loss of wildlife, and a loss of cultural resources. Rocky Mountain is vulnerable to a loss of ice and snow, a loss of water, more downpours and floods, a loss of plant communities, a loss of wildlife, more crowding, a loss of fishing, and more air pollution. Other parks in Colorado, including Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, and Dinosaur National Monument, face similar vulnerabilities. Read more