Silly Headline of the Day – NYT: Climate Change Threatens to Strip the Identity of Glacier National Park

And the opening of the NewYorkTimes article reads:

GLACIER NATIONAL PARK, Mont. — What will they call this place once the glaciers are gone?

My suggestions are at the end of the post.

There is a redeeming paragraph in the NYT article.  It reads (my boldface):

The retreat is not entirely due to man-made global warming, though scientists say that plays a major role. While the rate of melting has alternately sped up and slowed in lock step with decades-long climate cycles, it has risen steeply since about 1980.

“sped up and slowed” suggests the glaciers have been melting all along.  And that’s correct.  The epoch we are now in is called an interglacial.  And what happens during interglacials? Glaciers melt.  That’s precisely what they’ve been doing since the last ice age ended many millennia ago.  The author of the NYT article even acknowledges that in the opening of the next paragraph:

And while glaciers came and went millenniums ago…

The rest of the article is about how regional climate might be different with the glaciers gone.  A hearty thank you to the author for noting that.  That’s precisely why we need realistic regional decadal and multidecadal forecasts from climate models…something that climate models are still incapable of doing because the climate science community, under the direction of the UN, has only focused their efforts on the hypothetical effects of human-induced global warming, neglecting the basic processes and impacts of coupled ocean-atmosphere processes.

My suggestion is they leave the park name as it is OR they call it Beautiful Landscapes Are Now Visible…Now That The Dangerous, Cold And Slippery Ice Is Gone National Park.

Here’s a link to the slide show the NYT provided.  As I said: beautiful landscapes.

About Bob Tisdale

Research interest: the long-term aftereffects of El Niño and La Nina events on global sea surface temperature and ocean heat content. Author of the ebook Who Turned on the Heat? and regular contributor at WattsUpWithThat.
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4 Responses to Silly Headline of the Day – NYT: Climate Change Threatens to Strip the Identity of Glacier National Park

  1. Pamela Gray says:

    All mountainous glacial environments slowly being eaten away by erosion and not uplifted by tectonic processes are called plains, meadows, or otherwise flat places. Eventually.

  2. Thanks, Bob.
    There seems to be something anti-green in this love of glaciers and ice.

  3. MarkB says:

    My understanding is that the glaciers in that region were generally growing during the neoglacial until about 150-250 years ago. They probably haven’t been there since the last glacial maximum.

    While we’d all like to see climate models that can make more realistic multi-decadal regional forecasts, the impacts noted in the NYT were principally in regard to what happens if the glaciers are not there as a source of summertime melt water. It seems intuitively obvious that would impact at least the local ecosystem.

  4. DB says:

    Munroe et al. looked at the history of glaciers in the Glacier National Park over the last 6500 years. They note that “Retreat from the LIA maximum was the most dramatic episode of ice retreat in at least the last 1000 years.”

    In particular, Figure 8 looks at the retreat of the Agassiz Glacier. The filled gray line shows their reconstructed retreat rate since the end of the Little Ice Age. The peak rate of retreat was in 1930, at a rate some 6x greater than the present.

    A lacustrine-based Neoglacial record for Glacier National Park, Montana, USA

    Click to access 35-Munroe_etal_2012_GNP.pdf

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