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Glacier retreat in Glacier National Park, Montana

December 6, 2019

Currently, the volume of land ice on Earth is decreasing, driving consequential changes to global sea level and local stream habitat. Glacier retreat in Glacier National Park, Montana, U.S.A., is one example of land ice loss and glacier change. The U.S. Geological Survey Benchmark Glacier Project conducts glaciological research and collects field measurements across select North American glaciers, including Sperry Glacier located in Glacier National Park. These records provide direct evidence of glacier change. The amount and timing of Earth’s land ice that will be lost in the future depends on the future trajectory of greenhouse gas emissions. Ongoing glaciological research will enhance physical understanding and forecasting capabilities; however, the continued retreat and ice mass loss of small glaciers in Glacier National Park is certain.