Climate Change Is Causing Earlier Springs in National Parks
Three-quarters of parks surveyed are experiencing warmer weather earlier in the year, which could hurt their ability to manage invasive species.
The National Park Service was created to protect and preserve the United States’ natural wonders. But what happens when climate change starts to alter these sites?
On Thursday, U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell announced a new report revealing that three-quarters of the 276 national parks are experiencing an earlier onset of spring. Half of the parks studied are experiencing “extreme” early springs.
The report authors discovered this by looking at historical data dating back to 1901.
For the parks in the “extreme” category, they found that “the onset of spring is earlier than 95 percent of the historical range,” says Jake Weltzin, an ecologist at the U.S. Geological Survey and one of the authors of the report.