Climate change taking greater toll on national parks

Climate change poses a threat to the namesake glaciers of Glacier National Park. ©Matthew Peoples

National parks in the United States are bearing the brunt of climate change, a recent study says, putting many small mammals and plants at risk of extinction by the end of the century. Over the past 100 years, average temperatures in national parks increased at twice the rate of the rest of the nation and yearly rainfall decreased more in national parks than in other areas, according to research published in Environmental Research Letters. At that rate, researchers found, small mammals and plants wouldn’t have time to shift to more suitable locations.

Read the story in Berkeley News or the study in Environmental Research Letters.