Friday, February 17, 2006

Glacier National Park OR Waterworld?

The glaciers are melting in the US as well as in Greenland. I'm glad I went to Glacier National Park in 2001, because I doubt there is much glacier left to see. Already, 5 years ago, the once huge sheets of ice were little grey nubs on the tops of the mountains. If you looked at pictures of the park from even 20 years ago, the difference was striking.

BBC (UK): Legal case against US on climate

US conservation groups have begun a new legal case aimed at forcing government action on climate change.

They have filed a petition with the UN arguing that Waterton-Glacier Peace Park, a protected area, is being damaged by rising temperatures.

Conservation groups argue that climate change threatens to have four major impacts on the park:

* average summer temperatures have increased 1.66C between 1910 and 1980, and precipitation levels have decreased by as much as 20%
* the loss of more than 80% of the park's glaciers is the result of climate change
* since 1850, the area covered by glaciers in the park has decreased by 73% and continues to decrease

* loss of the glaciers will reduce stream flow
* climate change threatens mountain and prairie species which live in the region, through a reduction in water and other mechanisms

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