Climate Change in Montana
Welcome to the Montana Climate Change Website
Global climate change is affecting Montana now and will continue to do so into the future. The changes taking place in our beautiful Glacier National Park, pictured above, are becoming symbolic of what lies ahead. When Glacier was designated a national park 100 years ago, 150 glaciers glittered along its mountaintops. Only 27 remain today and they all may be gone by the year 2022, should current weather patterns continue. Perhaps more serious than the visual impact of melting glaciers are the deeper environmental and economic problems associated with a changing climate.
Climate change will affect all of Montana's major economic sectors: agriculture, forestry, transportation and tourism, and energy supply. We may be challenged with decreased crop yields, longer forest fire seasons, reduced snowpack, and declining hydropower. The environmental costs may include reduced wildlife habitat and diminished water quality and stream flow. It is imperative that we all begin to do what we can to address this crucial issue for our own sake and the sake of the generations of Montanans to come.
To meet these challenges we must implement efficiency and conservation measures to improve the energy performance of our homes, businesses, and transportation. We must expand opportunities for renewable energy resources such as wind and solar, foster agriculture and forestry practices that will sequester carbon, and be smarter about our purchase and use of products and energy.
Even small changes we make in our daily lives can add up to big reductions in our carbon footprints. We need to be a shining example (compact fluorescent, of course) for our friends and neighbors. I hope you will put the information you find on the website to use in your homes, your schools, and your businesses. I welcome your questions and suggestions for how we can make this an even more useful resource for you in the future.