Climate Change in California's National Parks

California Clean Air and Climate Program | Air Pollution | Climate Change

Golden Gate National Recreation Area could see sea level rises of up to 3 feet by the end of this century, threatening Historic buildings, archaeological sites and roads.

The American Pika, a relative of the rabbit, is disappearing from the Sierra Nevada Mountains in Yosemite, Sequoia, and Kings Canyon National Parks due to decreased snowpack from climate change.

Scientists predict that by 2100 Joshua Trees may disappear completely from their namesake park due to warming temperatures as a result of climate change. Listen to NPCA's Park Stories Podcast that explores the changes to Joshua Tree National Park's fragile desert ecosystem.

NPCA’s Pacific Region has many programs that combat climate change

  • NPCA has helped California’s national parks to join the Climate Friendly Parks Program (CFP), which empowers parks to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, improve air quality and develop sustainable practices. The CFP program also encourages park visitors to reduce their own carbon footprints.
  • In 2009, the Joshua Tree Field Office organized a Climate Change Conference in Joshua Tree, California that educated hundreds of people about the effects of climate change on the park and surrounding Mojave Desert.
  • NPCA is facilitating the replacement of Alcatraz Island’s diesel generators with a combination of solar panels and power from the San Francisco grid.

How You Can Help

  • Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.
  • Use public transportation, combine trips, carpool and walk or bike more.
  • Use energy efficient appliances and turn off and unplug electric devices.
  • Conserve Water.
  • Support sound environmental legislation and policy that addresses climate change and air pollution.
  • Take action by signing up for news and alerts, including NPCA's monthly e-newsletter, Park Lines.

Other Resources

Unnatural Disaster: Global Warming and Our Natural Parks

In Yosemite, warming and drought have made wildfire season longer and more damaging, and increased insect damage. In Sequoia and Kings Canyon, Warmer temperatures will worsen ground-level ozone problems. Increasing wildfires will contribute more smoke and airborne particulates. NPCA's report, Unnatural Disaster, says we can still halt the most severe effects of climate change if we take action now. Read more >


Climate Change and Natural Park Wildlife: A Survival Guide for a Warming World

Climate change has arrived in America’s National Parks. Native trees and animals are affected as changing temperature and weather patterns make the availability of food, water, and shelter less certain. If we fail to act, some wildlife may even go extinct. Fortunately there’s still time to protect the parks’ living legacy. Read more >



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