Climate change is driving up temperatures and reducing snowfall at Yellowstone National Park, USGS and university scientists say. The report paints a bleak assessment of the nation’s oldest national park with temperatures rising as much as 10°F (5.6°C) by the end of the century, on top of the 2°F (1.1°C) of warming already experienced since 1950. The report also finds the park, which has already seen annual snowfall drop by nearly 2 feet since 1950, will see even less snow in the future. Drought, including reduced snowpack, could also cause the park’s iconic geysers, including Old Faithful, to erupt less frequently.
Yellowstone’s vulnerability to climate change is not merely a future concern, however. Park officials say fire danger in Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks are ‘high’ and ‘very high’ respectively, with more hot and dry weather coming in the weeks ahead. (AP, E&E $, The Conversation, Yale Environment 360; Fire risk: AP; Climate Signals background: Drought, Wildfires)