VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS: At Hearing Today, Natural Resources Committee Assesses Climate Change Risks to Public Lands and Treasured Sites
Washington D.C. – Today the Natural Resources Committee continued its historic series on climate change impacts across the country with a hearing in the Subcommittee on National Parks, Forest and Public lands – led by Chair Deb Haaland (D-N.M.) – on Climate Change and Public Lands: Examining Impacts and Considering Adaptation Opportunities.
Expert witnesses suggested our public lands, national parks, and historic sites face a grim future without more aggressive action to combat climate change. Patrick Gonzalez, a climate scientist and forest ecologist at the University of California, Berkeley, provided a detailed list of the impacts attributed to human-caused climate change in his testimony. Selected highlights include:
Glaciers melting –
- In Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska, climate change melted 2,100 ft. of ice (depth) from Muir Glacier from 1948 to 2000.
Snowpack decline –
- Across the western U.S., including North Cascades National Park and 10 other national parks, climate change has melted snowpack to its lowest level in eight centuries.
Sea level rise –
- Climate change has raised sea level by 9 inches since 1854 at Golden Gate National Recreation Area in San Francisco; by 17 inches since 1856 in New York City, not far from the Statue of Liberty National Monument; and by 12 inches since 1924 in Washington, D.C., not far from the Jefferson Memorial and the White House, which are managed by the National Park Service.
Wildfire increase –
- Across the western U.S., including Yellowstone National Park and Yosemite National Park, climate change doubled the area burned by wildfire from 1984 to 2015 compared to the area of natural burning.
Photos at the Committee Flickr page
A Livestream recording of the hearing is available here
Video of Vice-Chair Haaland’s opening statement
Video of Chair Grijalva’s remarks
Video of Dr. Gonzalez’s testimony
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