Think climate change is not affecting the U.S.? Paul and I visited Glacier National Park in May 2010; thirty years since my last visit. The loss of glaciers is substantial and readily visible. I walked on a glacier thirty years ago after a short hike. Now, even seeing a glacier takes binoculars and reaching one would be a boat ride and a long hike.
National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis calls climate change “the greatest threat to the integrity of the national park system that
we’ve ever faced.”
Jarvis says the glaciers in Montana’s Glacier National Park are expected to disappear within a decade. All mountain ranges may see declining snow, which would reduce fresh water to rivers and impact recreation and ecosystems.
Scientists note that warming temperatures have allowed invasive insects to move across the U.S., destroying trees and making them susceptible to wildfires.
Jarvis adds that if sea levels rise, it would impact park lands from the Olympic coast to Acadia to the Everglades.
Climate change, says Jarvis, “is not a tidal wave” as some have described it. It will creep up on us.
It already is.