When you think of Yellowstone National Park and its adjoining Grand Teton, towering snow-capped peaks and Old Faithful geysers certainly come to mind, but it’s a matter of concern that climate change will affect all of these natural habitats. There is a danger of change in the Azim Shahkars and its impact will be far and wide, not only in and around the boundary of this park. A new assessment of climate change in two national parks and surrounding forests and farmlands warns of the potential for significant changes as the region continues to warm.
Since 1950, the Greater Yellowstone region Average temperatures in the U.S. have risen by 2.3 degrees Fahrenheit (1.3 Celsius), and potentially more importantly, a quarter of the annual snowfall in the region has decreased. The region is projected to warm 5–6 Fahrenheit warmer by 2061–2080 than the 1986–2005 average, and 10–11 Fahrenheit by the end of the century, with the region around Yellowstone losing its ice reserves. is progressing. Loss of snow there could damage a vast array of ecosystems and wildlife, as well as cities and farms that depend on rivers that originate in these mountains.
Widespread impact on wildlife and ecosystemsand
The Greater Yellowstone area covers 20 million acres in northwestern Wyoming and parts of Montana and Idaho. Apart from geysers and hot springs, it is home to many wildlife, some of which are long-lived migrants and some are nomadic creatures who come and go. This area is also the place where the three major river basins of the western US meet. Rivers in the Snake-Columbia Basin, Green-Colorado Basin and Missouri River Basin all begin as ice on the continental divide and force their descent from the Yellowstone peaks and plateaus. How climate change alters the Greater Yellowstone region is a question in itself that has to be answered by changes in water supplies, the future of people living around western reservoirs and the vast cities that depend on them, and farms hundreds of miles below. gives shape to. Rising temperatures also increase the risk of major wildfires, which scorched Yellowstone in 1988 and broke records in Colorado in 2020. In addition, the impact on national parks could result in losses of around US$800 billion due to a reduction in annual tourism activity in the three states. The group of scientists, including Kathy Whitlock from Montana State University, Steve Hosettler of the US Geological Survey and me at the University of Wyoming, partnered with local organizations including the Greater Yellowstone Coalition to launch climate assessments. We wanted to give a common ground for discussion to the many voices in the region, from the people who have lived in these beautiful natural landscapes for more than 10,000 years to the federal agencies looking after the area’s public lands.
Transfer from Snow to Rain
The Snow of Grand Teton, standing at the University of Wyoming-National Park Service Research Station and located more than 13,000 feet above sea level Looking at it, I can’t help but think that a change in snowfall may be the most predictable and most terrifying outcome of our assessment. Today the average winter snowline – the level where almost all winter precipitation falls as snow – is at an altitude of about 6,000 feet. By the turn of the century, climate warming is projected to raise this to at least ten thousand feet, to the top of Jackson Hole’s famous ski areas. Climate assessment uses projections of future climates based on a scenario that believes countries will significantly reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. When we looked at scenarios in which global emissions continue to grow at higher rates, the difference became apparent by the end of the century compared to today. Even the highest peaks will not receive regular snowfall. In interviews with people from across the region, almost everyone agreed that the challenge ahead is directly related to water. A member of one of the regional tribes said, ‘Water is a big concern for everyone. As the area warms up, precipitation may increase slightly, but less of it will fall as snow. Much of it will also fall in the spring and fall, while summers will be drier than before, our assessment found.
The time of spring, when winter snow melts and rivers and streams Since the 1950s, it has already progressed for about eight days. The change would mean a longer, drier, longer summer, when the wildfire season would become longer and hotter and would turn the entire climate brown or black. The result is a ‘green wave’ of new leaves growing on the slopes of the mountain each spring. Will affect migration of wildlife dependent on it. The late summer will result in lower water flows and warmer waters, threatening the survival of cold-water fish, such as the Yellowstone cutthroat trout, and unique species such as Yellowstone’s West Glacier stonefly, which Melts from mountain glaciers depend on cold water.
Preparing for a Warmer Future
These results will vary slightly from place to place, but No region will remain untouched. We hope that climate assessment will help communities anticipate the complex impacts ahead and plan for the future. Fortunately, as the report indicates, we have options. Federal and state policy choices will determine whether the world will see an optimistic scenario or a scenario where adaptation becomes more difficult. The Yellowstone region, one of the coldest parts of America, will face change, but taking action now can help avoid the worst. Decisions to be made in this direction will determine whether high-altitude mountain cities such as Jackson, Wyoming, which rarely experience 90 Fahrenheit today, will face such heat for a couple of weeks or so by the end of the century. It may take two months. The assessment underscores the need for discussion about what we want to choose for ourselves.