25 July 2006

Climate Change: Global Warming Puts 12 US Parks at Risk

WASHINGTON - Global warming puts 12 of the most famous US national parks at risk, environmentalists said on Tuesday, conjuring up visions of Glacier National Park without glaciers and Yellowstone Park without grizzly bears, according to Reuters/Planet Ark.

All 12 parks are located in the American West, where temperatures have risen twice as fast as in the rest of the United States over the last 50 years, said Theo Spencer of the Natural Resources Defense Council.
"Rising temperatures, drought, wildfires and diminished snowfalls endanger wildlife and threaten hiking, fishing and other recreational activities" in the parks, Spencer said in a telephone news conference. "Imagine Glacier Park without glaciers or Yellowstone without any grizzly bears."

Most climate scientists believe Earth's surface temperature has risen over the last century or more, spurred by human activities that produce greenhouse gases, which trap heat like the glass walls of a greenhouse. Some skeptics doubt that people affect global climate change and say temperature fluctuations have occurred throughout history.

The report released by the council and the Rocky Mountain Climate Organization stressed the connection between global warming and environmental damage at the parks, including the loss of specific wildlife, and called on the US government to cut greenhouse gas emissions significantly in 10 years.

Read the full story: Global Warming & National Parks

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