Montana’s Glacier National Park - The Endangered Behemoth…

22May 2014

 

Montana’s Glacier National Park - The Endangered Behemoth

The National Park in Montana, US, not only borders the Canadian provinces of British Columbia and Alberta, but it is home to tens of thousands of lakes and many hundreds of species of flora and fauna. Sprawling over an area of over 1 million acres, the park encompasses a part of the Rocky Mountains and has a rich history that goes back millions of years.

The Glacier National Park is often referred to, as a significant part of the ‘Crown of the Continent Ecosystem’ it is a protected area that still retains almost all its original species of plants and animals.  Nearly 2 million tourists from around the globe visit the Glacier National Park every year to see the Grizzlies, the wolverines and the lynxes, among the other wondrous natural features. The Park is a snap shot treasure trove for geologists, botanists and conservationists who have been studying its various features of many years.

But all is not well in the park, conservationists working there, have now raised some serious concerns. The glaciers which are the most widely recognized dramatic feature of the Glacier National Park and have been in existence for over 10,000 years are receding. The worlds climate has warmed, just a few degrees up the thermometer and in doing so, it has caused the glaciers to melt rapidly.  

The Park’s ecosystem is balanced delicately on many factors, climate is one of the more important ones.  A minuscule rise in the temperatures can dramatically affect the ecosystem and the plant and animal life it supports.  Overwhelming evidence from photographs taken over the last century shows how the Park that was home to nearly 150 glaciers a century ago now contains only 30 of them.  Some 120 glaciers have disappeared.  

Unfortunately, the rise in greenhouse gases all over the world has hastened that process manifold and the danger of losing hundreds of species that exist in the Glacier National Park is now very real.  Scientists predict that if the current climate trend continues upwards, we may lose all of the remaining glaciers by the year 2030. Eleven of the park’s iconic named glaciers have already melted and by 2030, all the five named glaciers in the famous Jackson-Black Basin will disappear too.