Glacier National Park Faces A Massive Meltdown in USA Today by Laury Bly

I got this from NRDC and I can say this phenomina, an artifactn of global warming, makes my heart ache.
GLACIER NATIONAL PARK, Mont. — Standing under a cloudless midsummer sky at the Many Glacier Hotel, ranger Bob Schuster gestures toward the saw-toothed southern horizon and holds up evidence of a changing climate in a place indigenous Blackfeet Indians dubbed the “backbone of the world.” His repeat photographs show the rapid retreat of the 100-year-old park’s iconic geological features, which have declined from about 150 at the end of the Little Ice Age in the mid-19th century to about two dozen today.

It’s all but impossible for Schuster’s charges to distinguish whether those white patches glinting in the distance represent snowpacks or glaciers (the latter, he explains, are defined as moving icefields at least 100 feet thick and 25 acres in size). What’s more, the vast majority of the park’s 2.2 million annual visitors will never make the grueling six-hour trek that’s required for an up-close glimpse of Grinnell, the most accessible of the 1,600-square-mile preserve’s remaining glaciers.

No matter.

Though the views from this northwestern Montana vantage point probably will be just as spectacular a century from now as they were when the USA’s 10th national park was founded in 1910, Schuster’s before-and-after photos illustrate what park experts say could mean dramatic changes to its ecosystem.

“How much of (the glacier loss) is a natural cycle and how much is human-caused is a complex issue,” says Schuster, who notes recent estimates that the park’s last glacier could vanish within 10 to 20 years.

“But the majority of scientific evidence points very strongly to the fact that humans are involved, because there’s been such an unprecedented rise in temperatures and CO2 levels.”


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