Thursday, December 10, 2015

Glacier National Park Rapidly Losing Its Glaciers

Based in Nappanee, Indiana, Dave Chupp and his family maintain a respected dog-breeding business. Also passionate about travel, Dave Chupp particularly enjoys visiting areas of natural beauty in America’s national parks. One of his favorite destinations is Glacier National Park, which straddles the Canadian border in Montana’s northern Rockies.

The park is known for having some of the largest glaciers in the lower 48 states, including the crescent-shaped Grinnell Glacier. Unfortunately, the park’s glaciers are receding quickly in the face of sustained climate warming trends. U.S. Geological Survey scientists monitor the two dozen remaining glaciers in the park, including the Grinnell Glacier. Currently losing mass at a rate of as much as 10 percent per year, the glacier is unlikely to exist by 2030. With alpine ice sheets in rapid retreat, all glaciers in the park are expected to be gone by the half-century mark.

Beyond the natural beauty of the glaciers, geological scientists warn that this will have a major impact on the availability of water throughout the Western states during the critical summer months, when snowmelt from the Rockies feeds numerous streams and rivers.