Climate Change and the National Parks

It’s been a compelling scientific argument of scientists since the early 1930’s: By preserving America’s most unfettered landscapes – specifically, the big national parks – we’ll gain a critical baseline from which to track human-caused changes in the world’s ecosystems. Those making such claims eighty years ago could’ve never imagined how valuable that idea would turn out to be. Indeed, today an extraordinary collection of world-renown scientists are tracking the consequences of climate change by turning their attention to America’s national parks. It was in Yellowstone, for instance, where the alarm was first sounded about disappearing amphibians in the northern Rockies. Meanwhile key relationships between drought and plant disease are being explored at Bandelier National Monument and Mesa Verde National Park, where ninety percent of the pinion pines have died from drought-related stress. Far to the east, at Virgin Islands National Park, marine biologists are tracking the effects of a warming, increasingly acidic ocean on staghorn coral, fifty percent of which has disappeared from the park since 2005.

Seasoned naturalist and National Geographic author Gary Ferguson offers a riveting hour-long program, highlighting the touchable effects of climate change in America’s national parks. This is a presentation rich with images, as well as with compelling stories from leading scientists and researchers. Audiences will gain a close-up view of how our nation’s most cherished preserves are changing before our eyes, as well as hear fresh ideas about what can be done to minimize damaging effects on native species.