Dry summer emphasizes threat of climate change to Yellowstone National Park

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A dry summer meant Yellowstone fire officials were aggressive in stomping out fires in the park this summer. Of the 13 starts recorded through early August, two were human caused and all were kept under one acre in size.


In June, some areas of Yellowstone National Park received less than one quarter the amount of precipitation compared to the 30-year average.

The lack of rain in June and throughout much of the summer meant the park saw some of its driest conditions since the 1930 Dust Bowl era, said Cam Sholly, superintendent, in a webinar sponsored by the United States Committee of the International Council on Monuments and Sites.

The hour-long discussion was wide-ranging, covering topics as diverse as record visitation and the return of large predators to the park. Yet one issue stood above the others.

“Climate change, by far, is the single biggest threat to Yellowstone and its ecosystem,” Sholly said, noting that by the middle of the century the climate in the park is

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