Krista Thomason, Anjelica Moreno, Scott Reinemann
Geography Department, Ohio University, Athens, OH, 45701
Glaciers within Glacier National Park have been declining in the past 100 years. We will be primarily focusing on 3 glaciers- Blackfoot, Sperry, and Grinnell as representative big, medium and small glaciers respectively. Historical Climate Network data from Glacier Park International Airport in Kalispell (station 2445588) is where we will be collecting our temperature data and counting positive degree days in the melting season, which is July through September. Positive degree days are average daily temperatures in summer above 0 degrees Celsius. We will overlay glacial retreat data from 1966 to 2015 on ArcGIS to calculate the glacial retreat rate. Our hypothesis is that retreat rates were high very early in 20th century but have since slowed down because of their configuration on the landscape. Based on this data, we will find out how much energy is available for melting during the months noted above. It is essential to compute the glacial retreat over the past century because the global mean temperature is expected to rapidly increase over the next decade, so the computed rate will provide us with an idea of how much these alpine glaciers are affected.