Climate change in Appalachia

Climate change may be the single biggest threat facing Appalachian salamanders. Here are the basic facts:

 

What are some signs that climate change is already occuring?

Average temperatures increased 2°F since 1970 and extreme temperatures have also increased.

extreme weather with map

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What are the predictions for the eastern U.S.?

  •  Even warmer temperatures (by 5-9 °F).
  •  The number of extremely hot summer days will quadruple over the next century.
  •  Less snow in winter and an earlier spring.
  •  More intense rainstorms in between longer droughts.

 

What does this mean for salamanders?

Species living on mountaintops, like the Peak's of Otter Salamander, will have nowhere to go as the climate becomes warmer and drier.

Species living on mountaintops, like this Peak’s of Otter Salamander, will have nowhere to go as the climate becomes warmer and drier.

  •  Salamanders will disappear from areas that become too dry or too warm.
  •  When draught causes small ponds to dry up, many salamander populations will be left with nowhere to breed.
  • Salamanders living on mountaintops won’t be able to move to cooler habitats and may become extinct.

 

One comment

  1. […] the National Zoo, we’re investigating how climate change in Appalachia might impact the >75 species of salamanders living here. Like frogs, fish and more than 99% of […]

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