By Dennis H. Knight, George P. Jones, William A. Reiners, William H. Romme
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Additional info for Mountains and Plains: The Ecology of Wyoming Landscapes, Second Edition
10 The July mean annual low temperature is 55°F on the plains and near freezing in the alpine zone, where frost at night is common even in the summer (fig. 7). During a 24-hour period, variation is most extreme in the alpine tundra, where air temperature near the ground may be 80°F or more during the day and below freezing at night. Such extreme variation is caused by rapid heating of the soil during the day (stemming from reduced water vapor in the atmosphere of the alpine zone), and, for the same reason, rapid cooling at night.
Even today, water is a limiting factor for economic growth. 13 in °C 0 (fig. 5), where big sagebrush often is restricted to Periodic droughts characterize the mountains as well 10 in mm and summer rainfall occur in the eastern grasslands places where snowdrifts develop. 16 in J MONTH D Present-Day Environments and Climate Change Fig. 7. Average maximum temperatures, 1981–2010. The highest maximum temperatures correspond approximately with the longest frost-free periods and the highest rates of potential evapotranspiration.
Elsewhere, forests were thinned as the tie-hackers cut only the trees they wanted. Railroad ties typically were floated down creeks and rivers to railheads, especially during spring when water levels were high. Such activity, along with placer mining for gold, must have caused significant changes along some rivers and creeks. The first photographers provided another kind of historical record. Several studies have compared early and modern photographs of the same areas. 63 Johnson located and rephotographed 56 scenes in the 1980s, approximately one century later.