Raging fires, flash floods, and droughts are no longer just catastrophes in the bible -- they’re also consequences of global warming that we’ve witnessed. And according to a report by the National Park Conservation Association, those events are just a few of the problems that parks will experience if global warming continues unabated.

One park listed in the report, titled “Unnatural Disaster: Global Warming and Our National Parks,” which is particularly vulnerable to the effects of global warming is Everglades National Park. According to an article in the Naples Daily News:

Everglades National Park was one of five case studies the group used to highlight the dangers that nature faces from global warming. A destructive mixture of more powerful hurricanes and sea level rise could wipe out park buildings and roads and further imperil the 69 plants and animals near extinction in the park.

An article in the Ashville Citizen-Times, reported the effects in another area of the country:

In the Appalachian region, the group warns that global warming could also lead to draughts, floods and warmer streams that could endanger native trout populations, and forests may be threatened by increasing ground-level ozone and insect pests.

For those of you bummed out by the grim conclusions, don’t sit on your bum and mope. The report still encourages people to take action. In southern Florida, for example, it states that “the region has an opportunity to demonstrate to the world how smart planning can limit the extent of climate change and help both natural and human communities survive inevitable changes.”

True, the National Park Conservation Association can’t be accused of sugar coating the truth about the effect of global warming on some of our parks. But hey, at least a third of the sea hasn’t turned to blood. 

Story by Susan Cosier. This article originally appeared in "Plenty" in July 2007.

Copyright Environ Press 2007

Warming causes problems for parks
A report outlines the problems parks will experience if global warming continues unabated.