New Book Says Glacier National Park Is Losing Glaciers - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

New Book Says Glacier National Park Is Losing Glaciers

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WEST GLACIER -

Glacier National Park is losing its glaciers.

One writer followed a U.S. Geological Survey research team in the Park for four summers and shares his tale in a new book, presented to readers Thursday in Glacier National Park.

The Melting World is Chris White's fourth book. He's written about environmental issues before, but never about climate change in Montana.

"It was a lot of tough hiking, I'll tell you, but it was fascinating. They're really dedicated people," said White.

The book's main character is Daniel Fagre. Fagre has been looking into the mountain ecosystem in West Glacier for more than two decades.

In the book, White says there were about 150 glaciers in the Park in 1850. Today we're down to a sixth of that.

"There's nothing that we see that will stop that trend from continuing into the future," said Fagre.

What's a little less ice? For one, that could change the amount of spring runoff. That's water some cities need.

"Slight changes in the snow balance and the ice balance in the western mountains makes a big change for cities like Las Vegas and Los Angeles," explained Fagre.

Fagre says it's partly thanks to his work that some of the drier towns now have a person devoted solely to looking at the future of the water supply to give some tips about how to manage it today.

"As much as anything, they're a symbol of what's going on in the rest of the ecosystem, and so if our glaciers are melting we know there are other profound changes occurring," said Fagre.

A warmer climate that's melting glaciers could change when plants bloom, or when bears emerge from their dens in the spring. The point is that Fagre is looking at some pretty big changes, and White wants people to know about them.

White is signing his book again Saturday at the Montana House in Apgar Village.

 

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