Half of the glacier on the Olympic Mountains in Washington have melted since 1900, a examine says.
The remainder of the glaciers will largely disappear within the subsequent 50 years, by 2070, in accordance with predictions in a brand new examine referred to as “Glaciers of the Olympic Mountains, Washington — The Past and Future 100 Years.” It was revealed April 19 within the Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface.
The Olympic Mountains are in western Washington, near the Pacific Ocean. Thirty-five glaciers and 16 perennial snowfields have melted since 1980, the examine says.
As of 2015, the mountains have 255 glaciers and perennial snowfields, in accordance with the examine.
But it says the glaciers which are left are shrinking.
“There’s little we can do to prevent the disappearance of these glaciers,” lead researcher of the examine Andrew G. Fountain advised ScienceDaily. “We’re on this global warming train right now. Even if we’re super good citizens and stop adding carbon dioxide in the atmosphere immediately, it will still be 100 years or so before the climate responds.”
Fountain is a professor of geography and geology at Portland State University.
The reason for the melting glaciers? Warming winter and summer season temperatures, in accordance with the examine.
When temperatures are hotter in the course of the winter, precipitation that’s supposed to show to snow falls as rain as an alternative, the examine says.
The rain doesn’t “nourish the glaciers” of snow, the examine reveals.
“With warmer summers causing more ice melt and warmer winters causing less snowfall, the glaciers are being hammered in both seasons,” the examine says.
And the shut proximity to the ocean can also be rushing up the melting of glaciers on the Olympic Mountains, in accordance with Fountain.
“Those glaciers on the Olympics are the most vulnerable because they are low in elevation and closest to the ocean. So if anyone is going to go quickly, it’s those guys,” Fountain advised KGW.
The melting glaciers will impression alpine streams and bull trout populations first, adopted by different results, ScienceDaily reported.
“Without the glaciers, you’re not going to have that melt contributing to the stream flow, and therefore impacting the ecology in alpine areas,” Fountain advised the information outlet. “That’s a big deal with disastrous fallout.”
Researchers mentioned they accomplished the examine by assessing “several previously published glacier inventories” and creating “two new inventories.” They then used a mannequin to “predict the future extent of the glaciers in the Olympic Mountains.”