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University of Idaho Researcher Studies Trees To Trace The Climate History Of Yellowstone

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Karen Heeter
/
University of Idaho
Engelmann spruce and whitebark pine arise from the slopes of Mount Washburn, Yellowstone National Park, with remnants of a burn scar in the distance.

It’s a scientific fact: the global climate is warming at an increased rate over recent generations. We hear about declining polar ice caps and warming seas, but what about places closer to home?

Yellowstone National Park — which Idaho shares a piece of with Wyoming and Montana — is the largest, nearly intact temperate-zone ecosystem in the world. The Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem is a whopping 22 million acres.

Idaho Matters talks with researcher Karen Heeter of the University of Idaho. Heeter says Yellowstone recently posted its highest temperatures since 766 AD, by a difference of six degrees. But the way she went about gathering that startling data was unusual - and we will hear about that now.

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April Kaiser
Karen Heeter of the University of Idaho conducts fieldwork at Yellowstone National Park.

Tom Michael is General Manager of Boise State Public Radio and responsible for its management and leadership. His most recent focus is on digital transformation, long-term financial stability and a more inclusive workplace. When he wants a break from the news, he enjoys running in the Boise foothills.