Climate Change: Overview

The Mississippi at twilight.

Over the past century, humans have made remarkable advances in technology. We've built automobiles, computers, and rockets, and more progress is being made every day. Yet, some of the marvelous technology we've created has a downside. Since the Industrial Revolution, we've emitted over one trillion tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, and have polluted much of our land, sky, and water.

Climate change is happening, and we're already seeing its effects. Over the past few decades, the emissions from factories, vehicles, and many other sources have caused average temperatures to rise, storms to increase in intensity, and droughts to become more frequent. Many unique organisms are becoming increasingly rare, and some have already been lost. National parks (including the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area) are one of the places being hit hardest, because they often are home to rare wildlife and biomes.

Fortunately, improvements are already being made. Advances in technology have given us more fuel efficient vehicles, water saving plumbing, advanced recycled materials, and more. Numerous communities are working toward emitting and wasting less including Minneapolis and St. Paul.

Slowing climate change doesn't need to be tough. Putting forth a little effort as an individual, a family, or a community can make a huge change. With a little cooperation, we can start to turn the effects of global climate change around.


Last updated: August 1, 2017

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111 E. Kellogg Blvd., Suite 105
Saint Paul, MN 55101


This is the general phone line at the Mississippi River Visitor Center.

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