Title

Glacial Retreat in Glacier National Park: A Sample of Global Climate Change

Presentation Type

Presentation

Abstract

Glacier National Park used to hold 150 glaciers, and today that number has reduced to 25. Over the next 100 years it is believed the glaciers will continue to melt, leaving 0 glaciers by the projected year 2030. A melt rate and spatial distribution of glaciers has been predicted under two possible future climate scenarios. The two models include: carbon dioxide-induced global warming and a linear temperature extrapolation. Using these models, it allows for vegetation to be analyzed through soil moisture and increasing temperature to predict a future alpine landscape and future plant communities. Glacier National Park serves as a great example of the globe’s warming. With the national park having little pollutants and human activity over the whole park, it stands as an untouched piece. It simply has seen the results of the globe rising in temperature. In the time period from 1910-1980 the Earth raised by .45 degrees Celsius, this is when a large amount of glacier melting occurred. This period of time had an accelerated heat in the summer ultimately losing 73 percent of the glaciers. The impact that has already occurred is irreversible unless a similar climatic occurrence such as the Little Ice Age occurs. Beyond this situation, it must be understood how the loss of glaciers will influence other vegetation and plant communities. The scientific proof of global warming is occurring and glacier melting in Glacier National Park provides us with tangible proof that the rise in temperature has a great effect. Perhaps not immediately, but as represented in the article ice melting occurs on a decadal time period. This allows room each decade to better our green initiative and if the glaciers have not slowed in melting pace then we will be able to collect data to understand how the world will alter.

Category

Social Sciences

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Glacial Retreat in Glacier National Park: A Sample of Global Climate Change

UC 326

Glacier National Park used to hold 150 glaciers, and today that number has reduced to 25. Over the next 100 years it is believed the glaciers will continue to melt, leaving 0 glaciers by the projected year 2030. A melt rate and spatial distribution of glaciers has been predicted under two possible future climate scenarios. The two models include: carbon dioxide-induced global warming and a linear temperature extrapolation. Using these models, it allows for vegetation to be analyzed through soil moisture and increasing temperature to predict a future alpine landscape and future plant communities. Glacier National Park serves as a great example of the globe’s warming. With the national park having little pollutants and human activity over the whole park, it stands as an untouched piece. It simply has seen the results of the globe rising in temperature. In the time period from 1910-1980 the Earth raised by .45 degrees Celsius, this is when a large amount of glacier melting occurred. This period of time had an accelerated heat in the summer ultimately losing 73 percent of the glaciers. The impact that has already occurred is irreversible unless a similar climatic occurrence such as the Little Ice Age occurs. Beyond this situation, it must be understood how the loss of glaciers will influence other vegetation and plant communities. The scientific proof of global warming is occurring and glacier melting in Glacier National Park provides us with tangible proof that the rise in temperature has a great effect. Perhaps not immediately, but as represented in the article ice melting occurs on a decadal time period. This allows room each decade to better our green initiative and if the glaciers have not slowed in melting pace then we will be able to collect data to understand how the world will alter.