Letters to the Editor

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CLIMATE: Yellowstone Park is not heating up

Letter by Ken A. Schlichte, Tumwater on Aug. 1, 2011 at 12:47 pm with 4 Comments »
August 1, 2011 12:47 pm

Continued global warming could transform Wyoming’s Yellowstone National Park summer wildfire regimes by mid-21st century, according to a recent article by Rocky Barker.

The forests of Yellowstone and surrounding mountains store water for more than a quarter of the continent’s supply, and Barker has also suggested that losing those forests to increasing summer wildfire could mean losing much of the water storage capacity that is already being taxed by warmer winters and earlier runoffs.

Barker’s article has suggested that warming summer temperatures are increasing Yellowstone’s wildfire potential and that warming winter temperatures are producing earlier runoffs, but the NOAA National Climatic Data Center reports that Wyoming’s summer wildfire season temperatures have actually been trending downward at a rate of 1.92 degrees F per decade since 2000 and that Wyoming’s winter temperatures have been trending downward at a rate of 1.65 degrees F per decade since 2000.

Leave a comment Comments → 4
  1. alindasue says:

    I have to wonder about figures that are given about such short terms as “per decade since 2000″. One decade is not a long enough sample to base an amount “per decade” on. What is the average per decade over a several decade period? After less than 11 years, they would be able to give us a “per year” figure at best.

    I’m not arguing for or against the “global warming” issue. Based on what I’ve seen, my feelings are mixed on the issue. Part of those mixed feelings is because both sides are guilty of predicting future weather patterns for “decades” or “centuries” based on such small samples of real data.

    The best is to not worry about the arguments and just strive to make as small personal footprint on this earth as we can

  2. blakeshouse says:

    You are just trying to confuse the issue with facts. Don’t you know it is more important to “FEEL” than to think about an issue.

  3. LarryFine says:

    Feelings… nothing more than… feelings…
    Ken, don’t let facts get in the way of a good scare…

  4. beerBoy says:

    Just drove through Yellowstone. The forests in the surrounding areas are devastated by bark beetle infestation. The forests in the burn areas are incredibly healthy (albeit, much younger and shorter than the older diseased areas).

    Fires are necessary for healthy forests.

    That being said – climate change still is an important issue that should not be ignored.

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