Climate change is a long-term shift in weather conditions identified by changes in temperature, precipitation, winds, and other indicators. Climate change can involve both changes in average conditions and changes in variability, including, for example, extreme events. Scientists know that the earth's climate varies naturally over time. However, human activity is the main cause of climate change. When we burn fossil fuels to power our cars, heat our homes, and create electricity, we generate carbon dioxide. This carbon dioxide remains in the atmosphere trapping energy close to the earth and this energy impacts temperature, precipitation, and wind.
National Parks and other protected places provide a natural solution for climate change. They help to conserve biodiversity, protect ecosystem services, connect landscapes, and capture and store carbon. By protecting our lands and oceans, we help fight and mitigate the effects of climate change. Lands and oceans act as carbon sinks, absorbing emissions that would otherwise heat our planet. They also provide refuge and migration routes for native animal species.
Maintaining or restoring healthy ecosystems is important because healthy ecosystems are more resilient and so likely to persist and adapt in the face of a changing climate. Here in Gros Morne are working at monitoring the effects of climate change on our ecosystems.