Saturday, May 13, 2017

Going, Going ... Glacier National Park's Iconic Glaciers Are Melting Away

The ruggedly stunning landscape of Montana's Glacier National Park will still be stunning and rugged in 50 years, but the glaciers the park was named for will be harder to spot—if they exist at all.
Glacier National Park is losing its glaciers as global temperatures rise.
 When the park was founded in 1910, it had about 150 glaciers.
Today, only 26 still meet the 25-acre threshold to be called a glacier. 
As global temperatures have warmed over the past half-century, the park's major "named" glaciers have receded, shrinking by an average of 39 percent since 1966, according a study released Wednesday by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and Portland State University.

"Over the past 50 years, some of the glaciers have shrunk about 82 percent, so they won't be with us soon," said Daniel Fagre, the lead USGS scientist on the project. "For others, shrinkage has been more modest — about 13 percent. But the amount of ice in all cases is diminished, so the long-term prospects for our glaciers are not good.”

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