National Park Service

Greater Yellowstone Network (GRYN)

Climate Monitoring

Mean Annual Precipitation from 1961-1990 in the GRYN Area.
Mean Annual Precipitation from 1961-1990 in the GRYN Area.

Resource Briefs

Monitoring Reports

Protocol Documents

Monitoring Data

For more information contact: David Thoma


Climate is the set of long-term, average meteorological conditions that occur over several decades or longer. Unlike weather, which fluctuates greatly in the short term and is difficult to predict, climate is relatively stable, and many organisms have adapted to its predictable rhythms. Climate change refers to any change in climate over time, whether due to natural variability or as a result of human activity. As a result, climate is a driving force behind many ecological processes. For example, average temperature and precipitation determine the distribution of plant and animal species and the rate at which they grow. Temperature and precipitation regimes also strongly influence the frequency and severity of forest fires, the intensity and timing of peak stream flow and local and regional drought, which are important factors in natural ecosystem processes in the Greater Yellowstone Area.

GRYN produces annual reports synthesizing climate for the four parks. In support of this reporting the interactive web site www.climateanalyzer.org provides climate data for many locations across the country. From the home page click the Learn More link for an explanation of data sources and products. Integrating precipitation patterns with wetland availability for amphibian populations is an example of how we explore relationships between climate and other monitored vital signs.

GRYN is part of the National Park Service High Elevation Climate Change Response Monitoring Program, along with the Rocky Mountain Network and the Upper Columbia Basin Network, created in 2010 to measure changes in resources as a result of climate change. To learn more about what the network is doing related to measuring response to climate change go to the climate change button.

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Last Updated: December 30, 2016 Contact Webmaster