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17 April 2014 12:48 pm ,
Vol. 344 ,
Officials last week revealed that the U.S. contribution to ITER could cost $3.9 billion by 2034—roughly four times the...
An experimental hepatitis B drug that looked safe in animal trials tragically killed five of 15 patients in 1993. Now,...
Using the two high-quality genomes that exist for Neandertals and Denisovans, researchers find clues to gene activity...
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that humanity has done little to slow...
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a red dwarf—a star cooler than the sun—500...
Three years ago, Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University proposed that a warming Arctic was altering the behavior of the...
- 17 April 2014 12:48 pm , Vol. 344 , #6181
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ScienceShot: Grand Canyon Too Crowded in Spring? Blame Climate Change
9 December 2011 2:38 pm
Climate change has already altered the timing of plants blooming, insects hatching, and birds migrating and breeding. Now, researchers have found that it may be altering human vacation plans as well. A team analyzed attendance data at U.S. national parks from 1979 through 2008. Of the 27 national parks that had seasonal variations in attendance, at least 100,000 visitors in 1979, and for which long-term attendance data were available, nine parks showed increases in average temperatures in spring, according to weather data collected there or nearby. And at seven of those nine parks, peak attendance moved forward an average of 4 days over the 30-year period, the researchers report in an upcoming issue of International Journal of Biometeorology. At Grand Canyon National Park (shown), for example, peak attendance shifted from 4 July in 1979 to 24 June in 2008. At the 18 parks analyzed that didn't experience climate change, only three showed shifts in peak attendance. The researchers blame climate change for the shifts: A warmer and longer spring allows tourists to visit parks earlier, which nudges peak attendance earlier in the year, they contend. Other major factors likely to influence park visitations—including population growth, economic trends, and travel costs—would tend to affect the total number of park visits but not their timing within the year, the researchers say.
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