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Volume 28
Number 2
Summer 2011
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Graph showing difference in sea level from 1964 mean at Golden Gate National Recreation Area, California, 1854 to 2010 Climate change impacts and carbon in U.S. national parks

By Patrick Gonzalez
Published: 4 Sep 2015 (online)  •  14 Sep 2015 (in print)
Analyses of climate change in national parks
Physical impacts
Ecological impacts
Application of climate change science to resource management
About the author
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Emissions from human activities have increased atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases, causing an increase in global average surface temperature of 0.7 ± 0.2ºC (1.3 ± 0.4°F) from 1906 to 2005 (IPCC 2007a) and other changes in climate. Field measurements from around the world show that climate change is fundamentally altering ecosystems by shifting biomes (major vegetation formations; Gonzalez et al. 2010), leading to the extinction of amphibian species (Pounds et al. 2006), and causing numerous other changes (IPCC 2007b). This article presents a new synthesis of published scientific research on climate change documented in the National Park System and provides information for vulnerability analyses, adaptation measures, and carbon management.

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This page updated:  8 November 2011

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From the Editor
Information Crossfile
Masthead Information
Special Issue: Climate Change Science in the National Parks
  Climate change impacts and carbon in U.S. national parks
Glossary: Climate change–related terms
Pikas in Peril: Multiregional vulnerability assessment of a climate-sensitive sentinel species
Pika monitoring under way in four western parks: The development of a collaborative multipark protocol
Climate change science in Everglades National Park
Sea-level rise: Observations, impacts, and proactive measures in Everglades National Park
Landscape response to climate change and its role in infrastructure protection and management at Mount Rainier National Park
Glacier trends and response to climate in Denali National Park and Preserve
Climate change, management decisions, and the visitor experience: The role of social science research
Conserving pinnipeds in Pacific Ocean parks in response to climate change
The George Melendez Wright Climate Change Fellowship Program: Promoting innovative park science for resource management
Estimating and mitigating the impacts of climate change and air pollution on alpine plant communities in national parks
Parks use phenology to improve management and communicate climate change
Standards and tools for using phenology in science, management, and education
Hummingbird monitoring in Colorado Plateau parks
Paper birch: Sentinels of climate change in the Niobrara River Valley, Nebraska
Climate change in Great Basin National Park: Lake sediment and sensor-based studies
Long-term change in perennial vegetation along the Colorado River in Grand Canyon National Park (1889–2010)
The distribution and abundance of a nuisance native alga, Didymosphenia geminata, in streams of Glacier National Park
Monitoring direct and indirect climate effects on whitebark pine ecosystems at Crater Lake National Park
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