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October 23 2008

TERRA 451: Cascading Effects PART ONE

Examining the sublime landscapes of North Cascade, Mount Rainier, and Olympic National Parks, researchers shed light on emerging indications that climate change is real and predict how warming temperatures will affect the natural resources and timeless beauty of the region. As glaciers melt and the winter snow-pack decreases, what is the fate of the aquatic ecosystems and cold water fish that depend on runoff during the hottest and driest parts of the year? How will enormous amounts of unstable sediment exposed by retreating ice-sheets on Mount Rainier affect the roads and infrastructure of that park and beyond? Will pine beetle infestations and larger forest fires become widespread in the approaching future?
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