Snowy Range, Medicine Bow National Forest, Wyoming
Granitic Sunrise Reflections
James David Broome
It is incredible, how much a little bit of elevation can change an environment. Despite being a small granitic island on the blistering hot Summer plains of Wyoming, in mid-July, snow and ice still hold a dominating grasp in the high country. Here, Spring will continue until August, as new life follows the receding snow line. It is an indirect, but pristine, illustration of just how thin our delicate atmosphere really is. Going just a "few" relative meters up in elevation transforms the atmosphere's capacity to contain thermal kinetic energy, making climates at higher elevations more similar to climates found at higher latitudes. Meaning; the types of climate and ecosystem that you will find at 4,000 meters in Wyoming are more closely related to the climate and ecosystem that you would find at Sea Level in Northern Alaska.