America’s national parks are already experiencing “extreme” climate change, affecting visitors’ experiences and threatening the legacy of the historic sites, according to a new report.
The study, published in the journal PLOS One and authored by National Park Service scientists, found that that 289 of America’s parks are feeling the heat as global temperatures rise.
“This report shows that climate change continues to be the most far-reaching and consequential challenge ever faced by our national parks,” said National Park service director Jonathan Jarvis.
By comparing climate data from the past 10 to 30 years to the range of variability from 1901 to 2012, the study concludes that 235 of the parks – a considerable 81% – have experienced unusually extreme heat in recent decades.
The study warns that today, parks are “overwhelmingly” warmer than they have ever been since records began. At the same time, many have suffered from periods of drought or extreme rainfall.
The effects are varied – in Montana’s Glacier National Park, iconic ice structures are disappearing, while rising temperatures threaten the flora and fauna of the Grand Canyon National Park.
At Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park, hydrologic changes could damage bridges, dams, and monuments.
“Ongoing climate change will likely affect visitor experience in many of our national parks as well as how we manage our resources,” study co-author William Monahan told Climatewire.
“We might be experiencing unusually high temperatures, such as heat waves, during summer months when we tend to have peak visitation at our parks.
“Most of our parks are not large enough to be self-contained ecosystems in addressing broad-scale changes such as climate change.”
The report also calls for climate science to be better communicated to the public, so that authorities can protect America’s natural and cultural resources for future generations.
“Our parks are for the people, and the public will be a very important role in the steps that we take going forward,” Monahan added.
In May, another report warned that at least 30 of America’s most iconic landmarks, including the Statue of Liberty and NASA’s Kennedy Space Centre, are at risk because of climate change.
Photo: Stuart Seeger via Flickr
Like our Facebook Page
Can You Use Your PC In an Eco-Friendly Manner?
How Pain Management Hurts the Environment, and What You Can Do to Help
4 Countries That Have Banned Single-Use Plastic
What Is Your Carbon Footprint and How Can You Reduce it?
How Business Leaders Can Positively Impact Water Scarcity
Plant-Based Protein Coffee is Eco-Friendly & Healthy
Eco-Friendly Restaurants That Are Bringing the Outside Inside
5 Environmental Benefits of Custom Manufacturing
How to Reduce the Carbon Footprint of Your Office
Benefits of Starting an Eco-Friendly eCommerce Business
Brian Sheth and Sheth Sangreal Foundation Donate $15 Million to Global Wildlife Conservation
Eco-Friendly Gardeners Can Make Compost from Organic Waste
8 Great Tips to Find an Eco-Conscious Moving Company
Can Employers Help the Planet with Work from Home Policies?
Creating a Green Basement Environment for a Healthier Home
Switching to an Electric Car to Help the Environment? Here’s How to Find the Cheapest Insurance
More People Are Practicing Eco-Conscious Lawn-Care
Choosing the Best Air Filter as Pollution Levels Worsen
9 Tips to Write Stellar Papers as an Environmental Science Major
Why You Need to Know These Hard Facts About Ethical Investing
- Energy3 months ago
How To Choose the Right Solar Inverter for Your Home?
- Energy3 months ago
How to Choose the Best Solar Panel for Your Home
- Environment10 months ago
Importance of Using a Water Purifier in an Area with High Pollution
- Environment3 months ago
Reduce Industry Footprints with Sustainable Material Swaps