Unnatural Disaster: Global Warming and Our National Parks

Posted on: 7/11/2007 - Updated on: 3/06/2020

Posted by

Jennie Hoffman



The gradual, accelerated warming of our planet will have disastrous consequences for America's national parks. Glaciers in the national parks of Alaska as well as North Cascades and Mount Rainier National Parks will continue to disappear; Joshua trees will no longer exist at Joshua Tree National Park; and a rising sea will drown Everglades National Park and portions of historic sites such as Colonial National Historical Park, site of the first permanent English settlement at Jamestown.

As chronicled in this report, national parks already are helping us to understand how global warming affects our natural world. Within them, we see the warning signs of major changes ahead. We must learn how to manage parks to maintain healthy ecosystems in the face of climate change, and we must build public support for doing so.


Hoffman, J. & Mielbrecht, E. (2007). Unnatural disaster: Global warming and our national parks. Washington, DC: National Parks Conservation Association. Retrieved from CAKE http://www.cakex.org/virtual-library/799

Affiliated Organizations

The National Parks Conservation Association is an independent, nonpartisan voice working to address major threats facing the National Park System. NPCA was established in 1919, just three years after the National Park Service. Stephen Mather, the first director of the Park Service, was one of our founders. He felt very strongly that the national parks would need an independent voice—outside the political system—to ensure these places remained unimpaired for future generations.