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Volume 28
Number 2
Summer 2011
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Aerial view of nearly completed dam at East Cape Canal, Cape Sable, Everglades National Park, Florida Climate change science in Everglades National Park

By Carol L. Mitchell and Jerome A. Krueger
Published: 4 Sep 2015 (online)  •  14 Sep 2015 (in print)
The South Florida Natural Resources Center
Determining science needs
Climate change science is contributing to natural resource management
Determining freshwater needs of south Florida parks
Future climate change research efforts
Literature cited
About the authors
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Climate change poses a significant challenge to National Park System units in southern Florida. Everglades National Park has long faced challenges to the preservation of its natural resources because of surrounding water management infrastructure, and is considered one of our nation’s most imperiled landscapes. A majority of the park’s 1.5 million acres (0.6 million ha) lies below 1 m (3 ft) of elevation and is exposed to the sea. Predictions of 21st-century climate change that include potential sea-level rise of more than 1 m (3 ft), combined with forecasted temperature increases of as much as 5°C (9°F), pose a significant predicament for the future ecological integrity of the park. The risk from sea-level rise, coupled with more than a century of disruption of the region’s natural hydrology, is a significant challenge for natural resource management and ecosystem restoration efforts. In recognition of these challenges, climate change issues related to changing plant communities, soils, water quality, habitat loss, and endangered species are being addressed in the context of Everglades’ research priorities and planning.

In this article we describe the park’s science and resource management program and how we approach climate change–related research and monitoring, providing examples of how we use this information. We will also provide an example of a resource management project designed to increase resilience in the Cape Sable area of the park in response to sea-level rise over the next few decades.

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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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