Climate Change

Goddard Institute for Space Studies earth warning image
Temperature anomaly from 2000 to 2009.

Goddard Institute for Space Studies

I believe climate change is fundamentally the greatest threat to the integrity of our national parks that we have ever experienced. The current science confirms the planet is warming and the effects are here and now.

Jon Jarvis
National Park Service Director, 2009


Climate Change
Climate change presents significant risks to our nation's natu­ral and cultural resources. Although climate change was once believed to be a future problem, there is now unequivocal scientific evidence that our planet's climate system is warm­ing (IPCC 2007 and 2013 reports).

While many people understand that human emissions of greenhouse gases have significantly contributed to recent observed climate changes, fewer are aware of the specific impacts these changes will bring.

Research has shown that the Great Lakes region - including Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore - is experiencing climatic changes due largely to increases in human produced carbon dioxide atmospheric concentrations. These changes include increased air and water temperatures, changes in pre­cipitation patterns, and a reduction in winter ice. The changes have resultant effects on the natural ecosystems and cultural resources within and surrounding the lakes, as well as area recreational opportunities and visitor health.

Current and projected impacts from climate change. Links will open in another webpage.

Water Cycle
Cultural Resources
Visitor Experience


Climate Change and National Parks
The National Park Service Climate Change web page is a great place to learn about climate change in general, and how climate change is expected to affect national park units throughout the country.


Last updated: April 10, 2019

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