warming threatens US parks, waters
- Global warming is threatening many U.S. parks, forests,
marine sanctuaries and wildlife refuges, and the federal
government must act to protect them, a report by the environmental
group Bluewater Network said.
Average global temperatures may increase by 10.4 degrees
Fahrenheit (12 C) this century, which could raise sea
levels by almost 3 feet (1 metre), increase catastrophic
wildfires and storms, and wipe out entire species, the
report will be released yesterday by the group and California
Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer.
Bluewater Network will also file petitions with the Departments
of Interior, Agriculture and Commerce asking them to minimize
the effects of global warming on public lands and waters
under their jurisdiction.
Bush administration has withdrawn the United States from
the international Kyoto treaty that seeks to reduce greenhouse
gas emissions linked to global warming.
has said the science behind the Kyoto treaty is no good,
and the accord would hurt the U.S. economy. However, earlier
this month the Environmental Protection Agency released
a report that concluded carbon emissions from human activities
- such as driving automobiles and operating power plants
- were the main cause of global warming.
Bluewater Network's report warned of dire consequences
for the United States this century if temperatures continue
to rise. Among other things, it predicted:
All glaciers in Montana's Glacier National Park will disappear
in 28 years.
Rising sea levels will submerge much of the Florida Keys
and Everglades National Park.
Wildfires will double in some areas.
Massachusetts' Cape Cod will become home to a large tick
population carrying Lyme disease.
Lake Tahoe, Nevada, will lose 75 percent of its snow cover,
displacing nearly 2 million skiers a year.
Bluewater Network said it wants government agencies that
oversee public lands and water to begin studying impacts
of climate changes and plan ways to lessen the impact.
public land and water management plans project scenarios
only one or two decades into the future. Unfortunately,
climate change occurs over much broader time horizons,"
the report said.
group suggested agencies could take protective steps such
as banning all tree-cutting in national forests so that
trees can help absorb carbon emissions.
federal government should also establish "corridors" between
wildlife habitats to accommodate plant and animal migrations
due to habitat loss caused by climate changes.
helpful measure would be to stop water diversions from
streams, lakes and rivers where water will become critical
to ecosystems when global temperatures rise, it said.