Climate Change in National Parks
Some national parks are already experiencing significant impacts from a changing climate caused by global warming. Glaciers are melting or have disappeared, alpine habitats are being replaced by warmer climate zones, affecting animals like the pika that depend on the colder climate generally associated with higher altitudes; wildfires are more severe and more frequent, as are floods or the lack of precipitation; plant and animal diseases are more commonplace in many parks.
The very treasures that define some national parks are in jeopardy. Glacier National Park could be without glaciers, Joshua Tree National Park without Joshua trees and saguaro, giant sequoias, and redwoods are each threatened in their namesake parks.
Did You Know?
Twenty years before the Lewis and Clark Expedition, Thomas Jefferson hoped to mount the “Clark Expedition.” In 1783, Jefferson asked William Clark’s brother and Revolutionary War hero, George Rogers Clark, to lead a cross country expedition to explore the west. Clark declined the offer.