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Climate Change



Warmer temperatures.  Changes in precipitation.  More rain and less snow. 

The Greater Yellowstone Area can expect ecological effects from climate change.  Temperature and precipitation shifts can affect the length of the growing season, the number and size of wildfires, insect outbreaks, summer stream flows, and invasive species impacts.

The Greater Yellowstone Coordinating Committee is investigating the ecological effects of climate change on GYA resources and considering ways to respond to those effects.   This page provides information on ecological effects of climate change.   Through its sustainable operations emphasis, the GYCC will reduce the greenhouse gas emissions of participating agencies. 


GYA Related Resources


Climate and Terrestrial Ecosystem Change in the U.S. Rocky Mountains and Upper Columbia Basin  Historical and Future Perspectives for Natural Resource Management  

David B. McWethy,   National Park Service Natural Resource Report NPS/GRYN/NRR—2010/260     October 2010  (4648 KB pdf)

Observed and Projected Ecological Response to Climate Change in the Rocky Mountains and Upper Columbia Basin, A Synthesis of Current Scientific Literature 

Isabel W. Ashton,   National Park Service Natural Resource Report NPS/ROMN/NRR—2010/220  June 2010   (6570 KB pdf)

The Potential Influence of Changing Climate on the Persistence of Salmonids of the Inland West 

Amy L. Haak,  USGS Open-File Report 2010–1236      October 2010 (8738 KB pdf)

Climate Change, Aquatic Ecosystems, and Fishes in the Rocky Mountain West: Implications and Alternatives for Management

Bruce E. Rieman and Daniel J. Isaak.  US Forest Service RMRS GTR-250.   November 2010 (4073 KB pdf)

Montane Meadow Change During Drought Varies with Background hydrologic Regime and Plant Functional Group 

D.M. Debinski, 2010   Assessed drought effects on two montane meadows in Gallatin and Teton regions of GYA.   (435 KB pdf)

Workshops and Conferences

The Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem Biennial Scientific Conference: Questioning Greater Yellowstone’s Future: Climate, Land Use, and Invasive Species October 11-13, 2010

Monitoring Ecological Response to Climate Change in High Elevation Park Units of the Great Northern Landscape Conservation Cooperative  May 4-5, 2010

Greater Yellowstone Area Science Agenda Workshop: Climate Change, Land Use Change, and Invasive Species as Drivers of Ecological Change in the Greater Yellowstone Area  November 4-5, 2009

Greater Yellowstone Area Clean Air Partnership Meeting: Climate Change and Air Quality in the Greater Yellowstone Area

November 3-4, 2009


Agency Direction

U.S. Forest Service

National Roadmap for Responding to Climate Change  July 2010 (668 KB pdf)   Link to Website

National Park Service

NPS Climate Change Response Strategy  September 2010 (5,196 KB pdf)   Link to NPS Climate Change Response Program Website

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Rising to the Urgent Challenge. Strategic Plan for Responding to Accelerating Climate Change  September 2010  (1,465 KB pdf)


Additional Links

U.S. Forest Service Climate Change Research Center   Information and Tools for Land Managers


U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  Conservation in a Changing Climate

Great Northern Landscape Conservation Cooperative

National Park Service Climate Change Response Center   

USGS Office of Global Change

USFS Moscow Forestry Sciences Laboratory, Climate Data & Estimates, Climate Change and Plant Climate Relationships

Research on Forest Climate Change: Potential Effects of Global Warming on Forests and Plant Climate Relationships in Western North America and Mexico .  Available Species-Climate Profiles include whitebark pine, quaking aspenlimber pine, lodge pole pinesubalpine firdouglas fir, and several other species occurring in the GYA.


Climate Change in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem Powerpoint 2014 - An introductory educational powerpoint for agency employees.