First Lady Melania Trump posted on Twitter footage of a recent trip she took to Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park.
The minute-long video, one of several about the Oct. 4 trip posted by Trump, shows her interacting with dozens of children and National Park Service employees. The glacier-topped peaks of the Teton Range are a near constant backdrop.
Meanwhile, the park’s glaciers are an object of newly launched scientific inquiry.
“Officials are studying the glaciers in Grand Teton National Park in northwestern Wyoming to see how climate change is affecting their movement and melting,” according to the Associated Press.
And there’s good reason for doing so.
A great visit in #WY last week at @GrandTetonNPS. Sharing the #BeBest message w/ kids so they may continue learning about & exploring our amazing outdoors! Thank you @NatlParkService & all programs that work hard in preserving our natural heritage. #BeBest #EveryKidOutdoors pic.twitter.com/OOWZ4hViXw— Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) October 6, 2019
The scientists are trying to figure out if the glaciers are moving down mountain slops more slowly or have halted altogether, which could shed light on whether or not their mass is decreasing.
Recent observations of one of the park’s 11 glaciers show that its surface diminished by 24 feet. “That’s pretty crazy,” said Reba McCracken, a park glaciologist who made the measurement.
But the park is not well studied.
“We’ve got a lot to learn,” McCracken said. “The dynamics of this glacier are hard to know.”
But what is well established is that glaciers around the world are melting—fast.
The latest report from the IPCC says that between 2006 and 2015 glaciers lost, on averaged, approximately half a meter per year. And, under high emissions scenarios, smaller glaciers in Europe, eastern Africa, the tropical Andes, and Indonesia could lose more than 80 percent of their mass by 2100. Some glaciers could disappear completely.
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