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Science Symposium Focuses On Climate Change In Sequoia And Kings Canyon

Nov 9, 2016

Scientists and researchers from across California are gathering in Three Rivers this week to discuss the effects of climate change in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. FM89's Ezra David Romero reports.

Climate change is a big deal in the Sierra Nevada. Think dying pine trees and dwindling numbers of species like the yellow-legged frog.

That's why Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks are holding a science symposium to figure out how to manage the range for the next 100 years. Christy Brigham says there are research questions yet to be answered. She’s chief of resource management and science for the parks.

“What mosses and lichens and insects and bats are out there that we haven’t even counted or measured and how might they be impacted by people or climate change," Brigham says.

UC Riverside Professor Jim Sickman studies watersheds in the state. He says if Central California groups and forest agencies work together the effects of climate change could be diminished quickly. He uses the snow pack as an example.

“Snow is melting earlier and part of that is for sure due to climate change," says Sickman. "Maybe improvements in air quality in the Central Valley could help our snowpack and our water supply.”

The park service plans to take ideas created at the symposium and apply them to their long-term research plan for the parks.