Cultural resources, historic buildings, archeological sites, battlefields, and historic landscapes experience similar effects from climate change as the natural resources that are located in the same area. Cultural resources are individually unique and non-renewable. Much of their meaning is tied to their specific location on the land. Even some plants used for cultural purposes are tied to a specific view or place.
Weathering, sunlight, moisture, and other natural factors have always posed challenges for protecting cultural resources. Current trends suggest that the rates, combinations, and intensity of these factors are already increasing. Climate change projections indicate that these irreplaceable resources are likely to be altered, deteriorated, or removed at faster rates or in ways not previously observed. Yet unlike natural systems, cultural resources are utterly dependent upon people to help them withstand climate change.
Last updated: September 8, 2021