This park faces threats—all made worse by climate change

In Rocky Mountain National Park, rising temperatures compound the destruction from invasive plants, bark beetles, and wildfires.

This story appears in the February 2019 issue of National Geographic magazine.

In Rocky Mountain National Park, 415 square miles of mountain terrain are protected—but not from effects of climate change. The average annual temperature in the high-elevation park increased 3.4˚F in the 20th century. That has worsened a trifecta of troubles—bark beetles, wildfires, and invasive plants such as cheatgrass—doing visible harm to the plant life covering three-fourths of the park.

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