Climate Change Causing National Park Peak Attendance To Come Earlier In Summer

Paul Fundenburg/CC BY 2.0

We've written plenty of times about how animals and plants are already responding to climate changes—flowering earlier, migrating later, etc—but it seems humans are already doing this too.

New York Times highlights some new research showing how peak attendance in US national parks has shifted by four days, over the past three decades.

The study...compared park temperatures and attendance records from 1979, when the parks started keeping reliable attendance data, to those from 2008. Of nine parks experiencing significant increases in spring temperatures, seven exhibited corresponding shifts in peak visitor attendance.

Two parks showing the greatest shifts in peak attendance date: Grand Canyon National Park (July 4 in 1979 v. June 24 in 2008) and Mesa Verde National Park (July 10 in 1979 v. July 1 in 2008).

For the doubters that climate was the determining factor in the attendance shift, the study did in fact rule out other causative factors.

All told it's probably a fairly low-impact example of changes brought about by global warming, albeit an interesting one.

Read more: New York Times

Tags: Global Climate Change | Global Warming Effects


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