Climate change could heat up Yosemite

Yosemite National Park and others threatened by rising temperatures

According to a new report by the Rocky Mountain Climate Organization (RMCO) and ) and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)., future emissions of gasses like CO2 could bring triple digit heat to Yosemite National Park .

Climate projections covered ten national parks and national recreation areas within California.  What the California Climate Change Center calls “medium-high” future emissions of heat-trapping gases plays out in six climate models as Yosemite getting 7.5 degrees hotter by 2070-2099 than it was from 1961 to 1990.

Giant sequoias like these could disappear with rising temperatures

Other average park-specific projections include:

Wildflowers at Joshua Tree National Park, California

Temperatures aren’t the only thing these higher temps would threaten. The California economy – already in crisis mode – would be severely effected. California’s national parks draw over 34 million visitors annually. They spend $1.24 billion that goes into the state’s economy and directly supports over 19,000 jobs.

Let’s translate these numbers into something more tangible.

Yosemite Falls would dry up more frequently with rising temperatures

Among the changes such drastic increased heat would cause would be:

  • Yosemite Falls drying up more frequently and earlier in the summer season
  • the death of giant sequoia and fir trees, which are both vulnerable to heat

And so temperatures continue to rise while politicians continue  with their personal agendas. And critical climate change legislation gets watered down and/or pushed again to the back burner, as if there’s all the time in the world to face and deal with this increasingly serious issue.

And so it goes.

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3 Responses

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