The U.S. Geological Survey and Portland State University revealed the huge threat that global warming is posing on Montana glaciers. Around a century ago, the Glacier National Park had 150 glaciers expanding over a surface of 25 acres. Now, the 26 glaciers left are melting at a worrying speed, and they might disappear during our lifetime.
Montana is in danger of losing its ice formations
Researchers analyzed satellite images of the glaciers and measurements performed over the past 50 years. They noticed how the surface of ice was reduced by 39 percent, with certain glaciers losing almost 85 percent of their initial size. If temperatures in the area do not drop consistently, the glaciers are in danger of vanishing within the next decades.
The situation is quite serious, as the phenomenon in Montana is not an isolated case. These glaciers are, indeed, melting at a more rapid pace than any others in the United States. However, the event occurs on a global scale.
Glaciers are melting all over the globe
The western glaciers in Antarctica are melting at six times the speed suggested by previous estimates. If the entire ice in Antarctica melted, the sea levels would rise by more than 200 feet. Also, the Greenland glaciers have been affected with no chance of recovery, and a river in Yukon, Canada, changed its course completely due to a melting glacier.
Coming back to Montana, a possible disappearance of all its glaciers could have a terrible impact on the United States. From an economic point of view, the tourism will suffer, as the national park risks losing its yearly 3 million visitors. From an environmental point of view, the wildlife in the area will be greatly affected due to the change of their habitat.
Last, but not least, the entire planet will be affected if certain glaciers melt away completely. This will contribute to the sea level rise, and will affect several other ecosystems. Human activities affected the climate so much that glaciers underwent changes which can no longer be reversed.
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons