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.

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.

Read This Next

This 1882 surveying error saved a patch of forest from logging
Mystery surrounds the volcanic explosion in Tonga
The Maldives is being swallowed by the sea. Can it adapt?

Go Further

Subscriber Exclusive Content

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet