The Virgin Islands National Park is endangered by climate change, according to a report by the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Rocky Mountain Climate Organization. The park is especially threatened by rising global temperatures, as are 24 other of the country’s 351 national parks.
“In 2005, the Caribbean basin saw unprecedented water temperatures and some dramatic bleaching, followed by coral disease and mortality,” the U.S. Climate Chance Science Program found last year.
“The most dramatic monitored bleaching took place in the U.S. Virgin Islands, where National Park monitoring showed that at some sites 90 percent of the coral bleached. To date there is an estimated 50 percent combined mortality from bleaching and disease in the Virgin Island National Park surveys. As of yet, there are no reports of recovery as amounts of mortality continue to increase.”
Other likely effects of global warming for the VINP include higher seas, stronger storms, more downpours and flooding, the report said.
- You can download the study at http://www.rockymountainclimate.org/website%20pictures/National-Parks-In-Peril-summary.pdf