Dire news on climate change suggests that Western US and particularly the Yellowstone basin are already in the grip of a warming trend, and warming quicker than the rest of the continental US.
The demise of the whitebark pine trees is the most noticeable result of climate change. Warming temperatures have allowed the mountain pine beetle to thrive in previously inhospitable, high-elevation whitebark forests turning the mountains in every direction brown. Aerial surveys have established that whitebark pine die-offs are approaching a staggering 85 percent. A recent study concludes that climate-induced beetle kill will render the pine species functionally dead in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem within the next seven to 10 years.
-via the Bozeman Daily Chronicle
As the Whitebark Pine offers precious cover to delay snow melt, it suggests that Spring runoff will be quicker and potentially much more violent, and summer flows smaller and warmer than those of the past.
Studies indicate that within the next 50 years the Yellowstone River between Livingston and Laurel-one of the world’s great trout streams-will likely become a warm-water fishery.
So B.A.S.S. can add both Lake Tahoe and the Yellowstone River to their ever-increasing list of exotic venues.
The National Park Service has released a 36 page response to the impacts of climate change to the national inventory of parklands. As you might expect it is a roadmap to handle the effects and adaptations anticipated, as they cannot stop the process by any means. As part of the issue is carbon sequestration on park lands, I’d imagine that it’ll require vendors and visitors to adjust to a lower carbon footprint (possibly affecting their ability to enter the park, or the means by which they’ll be allowed access), and the end to livestock grazing – as it’s a known source of gases.
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