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Monday, February 23, 2009

Effect Global Warming in Montana

This blog is written by Mark Paquette......

While doing one of my favorite pastimes, browsing the internet (what did I used to do in my free time, oh ya, play basketball) I came across this article that describes temperature trends that a former climatologist and professor at Montana State University, Joseph Caprio, has seen over 54 years at Bozeman and Coldstream, Montana.

A couple of trends noticed by Mr. Caprio in this article are:

- He noted that warm extreme nighttime temperatures are occurring more often.

-The greatest warming observed has been in two time periods, from late February through March, and then again from late July to August.

-I don't think Mr. Caprio had direct input into this study, but scientists have observed that glaciers at Glacier National Park are disappearing, with 84% of the park's ice and snow fields gone. Some of these scientists believe that all glaciers in the park may be gone as soon as 2030.

This article brings up some interesting points. It made me wonder about how animal and plant life are dealing with these changes in the climate in the wonderful state of Montana. Do grizzly bears hibernate for a shorter time now? As Brett mentioned in a blog a week or so ago, bird species are beginning to be noticed in areas where "they shouldn't be". Are the same changes going to happen in Montana? Are they happening as we speak?

How will the disappearance or shrinkage of glaciers in this area of the country affect the people and the wildlife? Will rivers be different at all (will there water source(s) be changed)? How will tourism in the area be different? I mean if someone comes to see the glaciers, and all of a sudden they are not there, will they still come to visit the region? Basic questions, sure, but I believe they are valid ones.

Other questions that pop-up in my mind are why are nighttime temperatures affected more than any other time? Why are those two time periods, late winter and late summer, being altered more than any other time of the year?

Glacier National Park in Montana

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