by Chris White, January 9, 2020 in ClimateChangeDispatch
Officials who manage Glacier National Park are swapping out signs warning visitors that climate change would cause the park’s glaciers to disappear by 2020.
The U.S. Geological Survey told the park in 2017 that the complete melting off of the glaciers was no longer expected, park spokeswoman Gina Kurzmen told CNN.
Forecast models over the years show the glaciers were no longer at risk of disappearing by that date, she noted.
Placards at the St. Mary’s Visitor Center, located in Montana’s mountain ranges, were reportedly changed in 2019. The park is waiting for budget authorization to update the park’s full set of signs, Kurzman noted.
The signs will be changed to say: “When they will completely disappear depends on how and when we act. One thing is consistent: the glaciers in the park are shrinking.”
USGS noted in a report to the Daily Caller News Foundation in 2019 that recent harsh winters had significantly changed forecasts from years past.
“Glacier retreat in Glacier National Park speeds up and slows down with fluctuations in the local climate,” a representative with the USGS told the DCNF at the time. The agency is responsible for managing the park.
“Subsequently, larger than average snowfall over several winters slowed down that retreat rate and the 2020 date used in the NPS display does not apply anymore,” the representative said.