MADISON, Wis. — The U.S. National Park System experiences human-caused climate change at a higher rate than the nation as a whole, according to a new study released by the University of Wisconsin Center for Climatic Research.
National parks protect some of the most irreplaceable ecosystems and cultural sites in the world, and they are being hit particularly hard by climate change, according to University of California-Berkeley professor and lead author on the study Patrick Gonzalez.
“Human-caused climate change has been altering ecosystems and human systems around the world, but up until our research, the severity of climate change across all the national parks was unknown,” said Gonzalez in an article in The Badger Herald.
Gonzalez and his team measured historical temperatures and rainfall dating back to 1895 from all 417 parks and created future predictions for climate change made under different emission rate scenarios.
The study found that between 1895 and 2010, the average temperature of national park area had increased at double the rate of the U.S. as a whole. At the same time, yearly rainfall had decreased more in national parks than any other region of the U.S.
Find the study here.
Read the full article in The Badger Herald.