National Parks in U.S. Are Warming Fast and Drying Out: Report
America’s national parks are warming up and drying out faster than any other U.S. landscapes, a new study has found. The report, published Monday in the journal Environmental Research Letters, is the first to examine rainfall and temperatures in all 417 U.S. national parks. It found that, without a substantial reduction of greenhouse-gas emissions, national parks will become hotter and more drought-ridden in the decades to come. “U.S. national parks protect some of the most irreplaceable ecosystems in the world,” the study states, adding that reductions in industrial emissions could “substantially reduce the magnitude” of expected effects. The study found that, between 1885 and 2010, national parks warmed by 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit—twice the U.S. rate—while annual rainfall declined by 12 percent, four times the rate of the U.S. overall.