All you need to know about the Whitish glacier national park

Whitish Glacier National Park is found in the Olympic Mountains and Olympic National Park in the American state of Washington. It is situated on the north slopes of Mount Tom. The westernmost segment of White Glacier flows directly north, partially divided from the rest of the glacier by a few tiny rock ridges.

The major component of the glacier heads at around 7,000 and 6,400 feet (2,100 and 2,000 m) in a cirque immediately behind the summit rocks.The main body of the glacier also flows north, with a glacier toe that descends to a height of around 4,800 feet (1,500 meters), after which it bends northeast to reach its terminus at 4,400 feet (1,300 meters). A part of the White Glacier on the east is divided from the Blue Glacier by steep granite ridges.

The glaciers in Glacier National Park provide glacial melt water for lakes for recreation, cool streams for animals, and irrigation for agriculture, all of which sustain the American way of life. Although there are repercussions from the park’s glaciers melting, for many people the glacier retreat alone is cause for alarm.

The many active glaciers in the national park gave rise to its name. Perhaps the loss of these glaciers will teach us how serious the situation is. The disappearance of the park’s namesake forces us to consider what Glacier should look like in the future, even while other effects of climate change are more immediately felt where we live—more frequent heat waves, rising sea levels, and greater wildfires.

What is a glacier? 

It is a big Ice that it’s so large that it can flow around under its own weight. A common threshold that can be used to determine if the body of Ice can be called a glacier is an area of 0.1km², which is just around 25 acres.

Any ice that is less than this size is not to be considered a glacier, although they are most likely to be exceptions because some glaciers can actually be laws that are 0.1km² and still be very active. While some may not be living under their own weight and still be larger than the normal 0.1km².

How many glaciers are in the Whitish Glacier national park?

There were about 80 glaciers in the glacier national park around the end of the little ice age which ended around 1850. An aerial image as of 2015 showed that there are still around 26 named glaciers which meet up with the 0.1Km² criteria which was nine less than those that were there in 1966, though some of the 26 that were in the park around 2015 are now too small to be called glaciers. Only about two dozen of the named glaciers are actually being monitored by the U.S. Geological survey, the park also has so many unnamed glaciers, and also more than a dozen rock glaciers and multiple snow fields.

What are the rock glaciers?

A rock glacier is an accumulation of rocks in a nice glacier like form, these Rock glaciers may have little or no visible ice in it. Ice always fills the spaces between the blocks of rocks. Some rocks are able to move but it is very slow. One confusing thing about the park is that many Ice glaciers are actually mostly covered in rocks but still are not rock glaciers.

A 2016 thesis for a master’s course in Texas state university actually counted the rock glaciers and found 13 rock glaciers and also they discovered 14 formations that were previously rock glaciers and also gave them some simple names that are based on their surroundings.

Are the ice glaciers actually shrinking?

Every named glacier that is in the Whitish glacier national park has actually gotten smaller between 1966 and 2015, even some have shrunken to about more than 80%. During the late summer the glaciers become very visible for the satellites to capture images that will be used to measure the areas the glaciers cover.

 

These images always show signs of the glaciers shrinking. For the glaciers that can be accessed, scientists will need to collect the data in the field. Images taken off the glaciers have to be taken repeatedly from the same points in order to confirm if there’s a reduction in the area and it also determines reduction in the ice glaciers thickness and mass. Also some GPS measurements are used to track the glacier’s surface area to track the overall change in the mass.

When will all the ice glaciers be gone?

The ice glaciers melt more in the summer than it actually grows during the snowfall, but if eventually there is more snowfall in the winters that will be more than how the glaciers melt during the summer, then the glaciers will be able to grow. So this means that the question actually depends on the possibility of how events turn out.

What can be done to stop the melting glaciers?

As the climate gets more and more hotter, the ice glaciers keep melting and also some have eventually disappeared and this is because of Global warming which is still happening till this day. Also Greenhouse gas emissions contribute to what makes the ice glaciers melt as it always gets hotter. Though the efforts that are made to limit emissions may already be too late to keep the Glaciers national park glacier, it is still a good cause for so many reasons.

The Glaciers National Park has already made some efforts to reduce its own emissions to help the warmer climate, they use solar and also hydro power to supply electricity throughout the park, they also made improvements in recycling and replaced the energy wasting light bulbs with nice efficient LED’s.

Wildlife that can be found in the Glacier national park

There are so many wildlife that call the Glaciers national park their habitat, they can be large to tiny or fierce to adorable but they make up to the ecosystem of the glaciers park. The landscape of the park is so diverse making it home to many species, they can be high alpine or even lowlands. Here are some of the species that can be found in the Glacier:

1.Grizzly bear:

Most of the time when people think of ice glaciers what comes to their minds immediately are bears that live there. In the glacier park, there is a big population of both black and grizzly bears and also the glacier park is the core of the biggest grizzly bear population in the lower forty eight (48) states.

One amazing thing about bears is that bears have a good memory and are also intelligent. They have been seen covering their tracks in the wild so the hunters would not be able to find them and they can also remember the location of food sources, even if they have not been there for like 10 years.

2. Mountain Goats:

One of the most iconic animals you can find at Glacier national park is the mountain goat. You can see them hanging in a Cliff, with their nice two layers of wool on their skin and wonderful cloven hooves which are specially designed for those steep slopes and they have made the rocky terrain their habitat. One amazing thing about the mountain goat is that both the male and female start growing horns at the age of two and also just like trees, you can use the rings in their horns to determine their age.

3. The Bighorn sheep

The Bighorn sheep usually live in alpine meadows or stay at the grassy mountain slopes. They also usually travel in groups and are very agile while running or climbing despite the fact that their horns can reach up to 30 pounds in weight. The Bighorn sheep can run at the speed or up to 30mph and they can also jump about 20 feet between the cliffs.

4. Coyote

Coyete

 

It is actually not so hard to find a coyote in the glacier national park, especially around the eastern part of the icy park, they usually walk around the grassland and prairies especially in the early morning. An amazing thing about coyotes is that there are now hybrids that exist, which consist of coyote and dog breeding and they are called “coydogs” or “coywolves”.

5. Beavers

beavers

Beavers are known to make their mark in the glacier national park with their webbed hind feet and also sharp teeth that they use to chew woods. They can be found at the lower McDonald’s creek. One amazing but weird thing about Beavers is that they secrete a molasses like fluid that has been approved by the FDA as a natural flavoring and has the smell and taste of vanilla.

Conclusion

You can visit the glaciers national park for multiple reasons, be it to admire the glaciers or to see the wildlife, there are certain things you should do to get a better chance at seeing the wildlife. They include waking up early to go there as most animals are mostly active at dawn, climb high and keep an eye out for avalanche paths, also move slowly and stay safe while ensuring you are observing the wildlife in a very responsible way.