September 2019 - Following the publication of the Fourth National Climate Assessment Volume II: Impacts, Risks, and Adaptation in the United States (NCA4), the National Park Service began hosting a series of roundtable webinars to convey relevant findings to national parks. Each roundtable covers one of the 10 geographic regions defined in the report. This month, they hosted their seventh regional installment, the Southwest Parks NCA4 Roundtable. The Southwest parks in this case include all of the national park units throughout California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona.
The Southwest Parks NCA4 Roundtable features a talk by Southwest NCA4 chapter author and National Park Service Principal Climate Change Scientist, Dr. Patrick Gonzalez. He identifies examples of impacts, like droughts and wildfires, that have already been attributed in large part to climate change in parks throughout the region. He also reviews risks to parks in the future, and ways that parks in the region are working to be part of the solution to climate change.
In addition, the roundtable features three park panel presentations, including one by Golden Gate National Recreation Area Natural Resources Chief, Dr. Alison Forrestel. In her presentation, Alison discusses elements of the park’s 2016 Climate Change Action Plan. She briefly reviews the education and mitigation elements of the plan. For example, just this summer, Golden Gate achieved its goal of becoming a carbon neutral park! From there, Alison focuses on highlighting projects that are helping to meet the plan’s climate change adaptation goals. These include expanding riparian habitat to buffer against flooding at Stinson Beach, to buffer against future flooding, involving the public in adaptation planning for Crissy Field, and reevaluating seed collection protocols to take different climate scenarios into consideration when growing plants for restoration.
Watch the full webinar to hear more about climate change impacts, risks, and adaptation from Patrick and Alison, as well as from representatives of Joshua Tree and Saguaro National Parks!
Last updated: October 1, 2019