Imagine Joshua Tree National Park without the Joshua trees; Glacier National Park without the glaciers; or the Everglades without... the Everglades.
Sound far fetched? It isn't.
Climate change is reshaping our planet, and while we don't yet know everything it will have in store for us in the coming century, we do know that sea levels are rising, the planet is heating up and fresh water is becoming increasingly scarce in much of the world.
This is bad news for our national parks. In the words of National Park Service director Jon Jarvis, “I believe climate change is fundamentally the greatest threat to the integrity of our national parks that we have ever experienced.”
In honor of Earth Day, we picked 11 parks that may be irreparably altered by climate change if nothing is done to stop its advance. The list is drawn from a joint 2009 report by the Rocky Mountain Climate Organization and the Natural Resources Defense Council. Sadly, these predictions haven’t changed in the last four years.