Preservation in a Changing Climate
The National Capital Region, where Catoctin Mountain Park is located, is expected to experience numerous climate change impacts over the next several decades. In the next 25-50 years, there will be an estimated 60 additional days above 90 degrees fahrenheit. These warmer temperatures will affect the materials used in our cabins and may decrease visitation during peak months (Fisichelli, et al, 2015). The increase in temperatures and humidity will also bring increased pests that thrive in warmer weather. Pests, such as termites, will increasingly damage the cabins’ irreplaceable American chestnut lumber. Climate change has already resulted in a 71% increase in the frequency of heavy downpours in the Northeast corridor of the USA from 1958-2012 (Melillo, Richmond & Yohe, 2014). The frequency of intense storms is likely to continue to increase over the next several decades and result in erosion that damages the foundations of our cabins.
Alten, Helen (1999). Temperature and Relative Humidity: How temperature and relative humidity affect collection deterioration rates. Northern States Conservation Center. Retrieved from http://www.collectioncare.org/pubs/v2n2p1.html.
EPA (2015). Future Climate Change. Retrieved from http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/science/future.html.
Fisichelli, N.A., Schuurman, G.W., Monahan, W.B., and Ziesler, P.S. 2015.
Protected area tourism in a changing climate: will visitation at US national parks warm up or overheat?. PLOS ONE doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0128226.NPS_visitation_climate_park_brief_CATO.pdf.
Last updated: February 21, 2021