US National Glacier Park Is Losing Dozens Of Glaciers

First Posted: May 12, 2017 05:10 AM EDT

Scientists have discovered that there is a shrinkage of dozens of glaciers at the U.S. National Glacier Park in Montana. They theorized that the United States might lose all its glaciers in the coming decades, and the glaciers in Montana have been the most affected.

Professor Andrew Fountain from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), said that ice on the mountain ranges had been melting for years all over the world. He thinks that the melting of the ice on the U.S. National Glacier Park in Montana is more intense than the other places in the country. He added that this corresponds to the trends that are occurring globally.

The researchers investigated about 37 named glaciers and two others on U.S. Forest Service land in the state. They discovered that these glaciers have lessened in size by an average of almost 40 percent since 1966. Some of them lost glaciers up to 85 percent. With this, only 26 glaciers remain of 150 glaciers larger than 25 acres in the national park, according to Independent. A glacier is characterized with snow and ice bigger than 25 acres.

Meanwhile, Dr. Daniel Fagre, the lead scientist from the USGS, said that the vanishing of glaciers in Montana is part of a broader loss that will see all glaciers. He further said that it diminishes from the lower 48 states of America by the middle of the century. He added that it is expected that the glaciers will vanish in the next few decades. He also said that the Colorado glaciers began to melt before Montana's. Even though there are bigger glaciers in the Pacific Northwest that will hold on longer, the number that could diminish will steadily grow until none are left, according to The Guardian.

The loss of ice in the national park could have ecological effects on aquatic species. It will change the stream water volume, water temperature and runoff timing in the upper elevations of the park, according to Dr. Daniel Fagre.

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