Climate ChangeNCCN Climate Change Monitoring Brief 2011
“Climate change is the most important, incredibly complex issue affecting work across all scales of the National Park Service“ - NPS Director, Jon Jarvis.
To address the seriousness of this issue the NPS Leadership established and funded Climate Change Response Program (CCRP) in FY 2010.
The NCCN Message
- Climate change is happening and human activities are contributing to and accelerating it.
- Changing climate has consequences for parks, people, and the planet.
- The NPS is responding with practices that address climate change.
- The choices we make now may help to avoid catastrophic impacts in the future.
The Science Is In
Recent reports by the U.S. Global Change Research Program, the National Academy of Sciences, and the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, give a clear indication of a warming world and related changes in our global climate system. The climate is changing, and there is little scientific doubt that most of the temperature increases since the mid 20th century are due to greenhouse gases produced by human activities. Taking action now will diminish the risks associated with climate change, and reduce the likelihood of catastrophic and far more expensive consequences.
Linking Monitoring to Climate Change Research
The NCCN's monitoring protocols will document changes in the status and trends of priority vital signs. The following protocols; High Mountain Lakes, Glaciers, Old-Growth Forests and Intertidal report on some of the changes that we believe to be likely for these natural resource vital signs. see NCCN Climate Change Monitoring Brief
More information on network vital signs protocols is available via the vital signs menu to the left.
Fountain, A.G. 2007. A century of glacier change in the American West. Presentation given at the December meeting of the American Geophysical Union. (http://www.glaciers.pdx.edu/presentations/Fountain_AGU2007.pdf)
Check Andrew Fountain’s glaciers website at http://www.glaciers.pdx.edu/
Mote, P.W., A.F. Hamlet, M.P. Clark, and D.P. Lettenmaier. 2005. Declining mountain snowpack in western North America. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society 86(1):39-49. (http://www.cnr.uidaho.edu/for515/Papers/Mote_2005_BAMS.pdf)
Pierce, D.W., T.P. Barnett, H.G. Hidalgo, T. Das, C. Bonfils, B.D. Santer, G. Bala, M.D. Dettinger, D.R. Cayan, A. Mirin, A.W. Wood, and T. Nozawa. 2008. Attribution of declining western U.S. snowpack to human effects. Journal of Climate 21:6425-6444.
Saunders, S., T. Easley, and S. Farver. 2009. National Parks in Peril: the Threats of Climate Disruption. Publication of the Rocky Mountain Climate Organization and the Natural Resources Defense Council. (http://www.rockymountainclimate.org/website%20pictures/National-Parks-In-Peril-final.pdf)