Global Warming Changing the Face of Some Parks

Too little too late?

When the topic involves society's response to climate change, the answer to that question isn't clearly known. What is known, though, is that the landscapes of many Western national parks are changing as warming temperatures speed the melting of glaciers that long have defined parks such as Glacier, North Cascades, Mount Rainier, and Olympic.


In North Cascades and Mt. Rainier National Parks, both in Washington state, six glaciers under study have shrunk by 45 percent in the past 100 years, a park geologist said. The 312 glaciers in North Cascades park, spanning 42 square miles, account for a quarter of all glaciers in the lower 48 states, park officials said. The Natural Resources Defense Council, a conservation group, has identified 12 national parks in the West, including North Cascades and Mt. Rainier, as most at risk from climate change, and seven face loss of snowfields and glaciers, reads part of a story in the Chicago Tribune.


This is not a particularly new story, as many others have discussed climate change and the parks. But it adds additional specifics about the melting going on and the related ramifications.

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