Please reply to both POST1 and POST2 in at least 200 words each.
Climate Change Affecting Acadia National Park
Climate change is a change in global or regional climate patterns largely due to the increased levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide produced by fossil fuels. Climate change can be seen in precipitation levels during the year or a deviation in a region’s usual temperature during a month or season. Climate change will affect the location of where rain or snow normally falls; such as, a region that would not get snow may see a rare snowfall. A rare snowfall occurred in South Texas on December 7th-8th, 2017. (NOAA, 2017). These rare occurrences are happening more and more, which can be seen in the warming of Earth’s climate which saw a giant 2,239 square mile iceberg break off the Antarctic ice shelf. Earth’s changing climate can be seen across the globe, and scientists are seeing the impacts throughout the national parks.
Climate change has impacted Acadia National Park in several ways. Native species, such as purple loosestrife, glossy buckthorn, and barberry, are quite common on Mount Desert Island. These native species, including orchids, asters, and lilies have shown a considerable decline. Scientists believe the changing weather patterns are to blame. Bill Trotter (2014) reports that conditions in the park are changing when the last spring thaw came earlier, and the conditions are wetter and warmer than the last one hundred years. With spring announcing its arrival earlier, plants are beginning to emerge earlier, which oppress plants that sprout regardless of temperature.
Protecting and preserving the nation’s national parks is a priority to preserve their resources. Cunningham, Evans, & Wang (2019) state that national parks need to be protected and should remain unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations. (p. 18). Acadia National Park is likely to see heavier rainfall, flooding, coastline erosion, changing ecosystems, and different species and vegetation beginning to dominate the region due to climate change. Scientists and researchers are addressing a project that will implement strategies to help mitigate and adapt to climate change. The project has four main objectives: adjust to rising sea levels, limit the lost of plant and animal species, reduce carbon emission from park vehicles, and develop an education plan.
1. Rising Sea Levels.
Marshes will naturally adapt to changing sea levels because they are generally quite resistant to change. However, the rising sea levels are flooding the marshes more often and are damaging the ecosystem. Improving culverts and removing barriers will allow marsh migration.
2. Loss of Plant and Animal Species.
Native plants should be re-introduced, and limit or remove invasive species, allowing the native species to grow more easily without competition.
3. Carbon Emissions from Park Vehicles.
The park uses shuttle vehicles to transport visitors throughout the park. Reducing carbon emissions can be accomplished by switching to more efficient fuel sources, and eliminate access to other non-efficient vehicles.
4. Develop an Education Plan.
The park’s climate change efforts should be posted on the park’s website to inform the general public of their intentions. Educating visitors on climate change and its impacts now and, in the future, should become a priority.
Besides the above-mentioned strategies, the National Park Service is developing a project that will “…protect the integrity of native species in the park and restore native species that have disappeared.” (Trotter, 2014). The staff has two vegetation restoration projects near Sieur de Monts Spring and Cadillac Mountain’s summit. Acid rain has poisoned Maine’s spruce trees, and planting seeds and seedlings may restore the park’s native trees. Next would be to reduce acid rain. As the climate becomes more volatile and unpredictable, knowing what will survive, and what species will disappear; ultimately is dependent upon human intervention and prevention.
Cunningham, V., Evans, S., & Wang, Y. (2019, June 27). Climate change in Acadia National Park. Retrieved from https://web.wpi.edu/Pubs/E-project/Available/E-project-062519-062308/unrestricted/sevansIQP.pdf (Links to an external site.)
NOAA. (2017). South Texas Snowstorm – December 7-8, 2017. Retrieved from https://weather.ogv/crp/20171208_snow (Links to an external site.)
Trotter, B. (2014, August 8). Scientists: Climate change pushing shift in Acadia vegetation. Retrieved from https://nrcm.org/news/scientists-climate-change-pu…
I have chosen to write my portfolio about Mount Rainier National Park. Since 1920 the average park temperature has increased 1.5 degrees F and is projected to increase an additional 2 to 4 degrees over the next hundred years. This temperature increase has caused glacier retreat. When this happens, loose dirt is exposed and is washed into river channels, settling into lower elevations. When this happens, the waters top the river banks and cause flooding. The loose dirt can also be attributed to debris flows. The flows can be powerful enough to destroy roads, riverside buildings while uprooting trees and dislodging boulders that can also destroy the surrounds on impact.
Mount Rainier is also impacted by the increased emission of greenhouse gasses. Greenhouse gases are produced from burning of fossil fuels, deforestation and agriculture. It’s location downwind of Seattle can create high concentrations of air pollutants in the Park. Some of the locations in the Park experience higher ground-level ozone concentrations than Seattle.
There are several species of animals in Mt. Rainier that are considered threatened by the climate change. Bull trout have decreased spawning as the water temperature increases. Chinook salmon are lower in numbers because of the flooding. Because of the reduced alpine environment, mountain goats and American pika are not able to tolerate the increased heat.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) continues to work for cleaner air quality. But the major disturbances in the park are due to forest fires. This will continue to increase as the temperatures do and precipitation decreases creating a dryer environment. The Park cannot only rely on the EPA for further regulations for air quality but must also prepare locally for the the inevitable changes. Providing resources to maintain animal habitats and regrowth of destroyed trees, meadows and river beds would help maintain the national park.
Ford, K. (2011, June 6). University of Washington. The impacts of climate change at Mount Rainier National Park. Retrieved from https://www.nps.gov/mora/getinvolved/supportyourpa…