The National Parks Service has quietly removed signs warning visitors to Glacier National Park that they should take their selfies with the glacier now, since it would be gone by 2020 — a victim of climate change.
The Daily Caller reports that NPS was trying to swap out the visitors center signs warning tourists of the park’s impending doom without fanfare, but a blogger who writes specifically about environmental issues noticed the change almost immediately.
The signs, installed during the Obama administration, warned tourists that the glaciers “will all be gone by the year 2020.” They’ve since been replaced by signs that claim climate change is still eroding the glaciers bit by bit, but that researchers can’t make an accurate prediction about when, precisely, the glaciers of Glacier National Park will disappear.
“When they completely disappear, however, will depend on how and when we act,” the sign now reads.
According to the United States Geological Survey, the Caller discovered, the size of the glaciers in any given year depend on the national park’s microclimate and not on the climate as a whole. The glaciers melt and freeze at different rates every year depending on weather and snowfall, and while computer models might have once predicted that they’d all but melt away by 2020, heavier snowfall has been a boon, increasing the glaciers’ overall size steadily since 2009.
In 2019, it seems, the glacier actually grew even more, thanks to a record-breaking Montana snowfall, stubbornly refusing to come into compliance with the Obama adminstration’s dire predictions.
That’s not to say the glaciers aren’t in danger; they’ve been melting little by little since they formed in the last ice age. Since they formed, the glaciers have retreated around 70% and will continue to melt so long as the Earth doesn’t cool, but the rate will be much slower than anticipated just eight years ago. Now, the USGS and the National Parks Service say the glaciers will still be around until at least 2030, if not until 2080.
Glacier melt isn’t consistent, either. Year-to-year, glaciers can grow, just as the ones in Glacier National Park have done since 2009, even if the glaciers themselves shrink in size or disappear over the course of decades or centuries.
The environmental blogger, Roger Roots, though, says the Obama administration’s boo-boo is a significant blow to leftist climate alarmism, since the computer models that predicted the massive glacier melt were believed, at the time, to be conclusive — much like recent claims that humans have only 11 or 12 years to reverse carbon consumption or risk an environmental doomsday — and found their way into stories in a number of “reputable” publications, including The New York Times and National Geographic.
When the models changed, the outlets didn’t update their stories to reflect a delayed climate apocalypse.
“As recently as September 2018 the diorama displayed a sign saying GNP’s glaciers were expected to disappear completely by 2020,” Roots wrote on his blog, Watts Up With That. “The ‘gone by 2020’ claims were repeated in the New York Times, National Geographic, and other international news sources.”
“Almost everywhere, the Park’s specific claims of impending glacier disappearance have been replaced with more nuanced messaging indicating that everyone agrees that the glaciers are melting,” Roots added.
The National Parks Service does not have to make an announcement when it changes signage, but in this case, they probably wanted to avoid the spotlight regardless of policy.