• View of the Golden Gate Bridge, taken from the Marin Headlands, looking towards San Francisco at sunrise.

    Golden Gate

    National Recreation Area California

There are park alerts in effect.
show Alerts »
  • Tunnel Closure

    The Barry/Baker tunnel on Bunker Road will be closed for maintenance during the weeks of 6/2 and 6/9. The tunnel will be open on the weekends. Please use Conzelman Road instead. More »

  • Muir Beach Overlook closure

    The Muir Beach Overlook will be closed for Accessibility improvements and trail upgrades from June 2 through July 21. Alternate viewpoints are available along Highway 1 between there and Stinson Beach.

Climate Change and National Parks

Giant sequoia

Giant sequoia habitat is moving to higher elevations. Can the trees make the move?

NPS photo

Some national parks are already experiencing significant impacts from global warming. Glaciers are melting, alpine habitats are being replaced by warmer climate zones, wildfires are larger and more frequent, and floods and diseases are more commonplace in many parks.

Some of our national parks could lose their signature treasures. Glacier National Park could be without glaciers by the mid part of this century. Some scientists believe that Joshua trees could disappear from Joshua Tree National Park, and saguaro and giant sequoia are threatened in their namesake parks.

Here are some predicted effects on western national parks:

• Alpine meadows replaced by fir and sagebrush

• Aquatic life stressed by early runoff, warmer water, and evaporative stress

• Vegetation drought stressed by increased summer temperatures and late season drying

• Recreational opportunities impacted by environmental changes, such as loss of snowpack, and by limiting of access to protect disrupted habitats

Learn more about climate change in national parks and the National Park Service response, or use the links at the right to find out more about climate change and national parks.

 
West Glacier 1913 and 2005
West Glacier (on left in 1913) in Glacier National Park has melted away (on right in 2005). The other glaciers in the park are facing the same threat and may disappear within the next 30 years.
NPS (left), USGS (right)

Did You Know?

Wildland fire

California could see more than 50 percent more large wildfires in this century due to global warming and its consequenses.