Did you know Montana is home to Glacier National Park? This park is the birthplace of gigantic glaciers left over from the last ice age. Unfortunately, they’re melting at a rapid rate, and there’s not much we can do to stop it.
Glaciers across the world lost a great deal of their mass as temperatures continue to rise. You’re probably won’t be able to understand just how much smaller these glaciers are now without the ability to compare what they once looked like. Thankfully, we have these 9 photos to compare the past to today. You’ll be shocked by how small these glaciers are today.
1.) Boulder Peak on Boulder Glacier
These are found at Glacier National Park, where the number of 90 degree days has tripled since the last century. The park once contained 150 glaciers, but is now home to only 25 (and likely none within 30 years).
Photo: W.C. Alden2.) Ice Cave on Boulder Glacier
Boulder Glacier lost more than 76% of its area from 1966-2005. It no longer exceeds 100,000 square meters in area.
Photo: George Grant
3.) Cheney Glacier with view of Cheney Notch
Cheney Glacier lost nearly 30% of its area from 1966-2005. This means less avalanches to naturally clear land for wildlife species to roam.
Photo: M.R. Campbell
4.) Grinnell Glacier
Wildfire season is now more than two months longer than it was in the 1970s. When the temperature rises and snow melts early, soils dry out and forests become increasingly susceptible to wildfires.
Photo: F.E. Matthes
5.) Boulder Glacier taken near Boulder Pass
A diminished mountain snowpack causes a drinking water shortage and a reduction in the supply of water for crops and livestock.
Photo: T.J. Hileman
6.) Swiftcurrent Glacier
Though melting slower than the others, this glacier lost nearly 15% of its area between 1966 and 2005.
7.) Grinnell Glacier at Elro’s Rock
Grinnel Glacier shrunk in area by almost 40% between 1966 and 2005.
Photo: Morton Elrod
8.) Iceberg Glacier
A typically unthought consequence of melting glaciers at Glacier National Park is the loss of tourist dollars. 9 out of 10 visitors to GNP list wildlife sightseeing as one of their activities at the park, and they spend $1 billion annually, supporting 4,000 jobs.
Photo: T.J. Hileman