So much news lately about the warming climate - - no doubt prompted by the upcoming world climate summit beginning in a few days in Paris - - but this story is infuriating and heartbreaking, as these magnificent glacial are essential stores of water, too:
This crescent-shaped glacier in Montana’s northern Rockies had been contracting for decades because of warming temperatures. Lately it has been shrinking at a breathtaking clip, losing as much as a 10th of its mass in a single year. As early as 2030, scientists say, it may no longer exist.
The glacier’s steep decline mirrors that of hundreds of other U.S. glaciers, from California’s Sierra Nevada to the North Cascades to the Central Alaska Range. All are in retreat, yet nowhere are the effects so profoundly felt as here in Glacier National Park, which experts say could be glacier-free by mid-century.
“They’ll be gone in a few decades,” said Dan Fagre, a scientist with the U.S. Geological Survey who monitors the park’s 25 remaining glaciers and plots each year’s losses. “Every year exposes rock that hasn’t seen daylight in centuries.”