What glacier melt means for Pacific salmon—including the need to proactively protect emerging salmon habitat
Across the North Pacific, glaciers are melting.
A new study suggests that 85 percent of North America’s salmon watersheds have at least some glacier coverage—and that 80 percent of today’s glacier cover will be lost by 2100. The study, jointly authored by Wild Salmon Center Science Director Matt Sloat and a team of leading Pacific salmon experts, appears today as the cover story in BioScience.
What does that mean for wild salmon conservation? As with all climate change tales, it’s complicated. Adding to climate effects from warming ocean water and extreme temperatures, disappearing glaciers will leave some North Pacific salmon systems more vulnerable to heat and drought.
But, retreating ice will also likely create thousands of miles of potential new salmon habitat