International Journal of Biometeorology

, Volume 56, Issue 6, pp 1173–1177 | Cite as

Footprints of climate change in US national park visitation

  • Lauren B. BuckleyEmail author
  • Madison S. Foushee
Short Communication


Climate change has driven many organisms to shift their seasonal timing. Are humans also shifting their weather-related behaviors such as outdoor recreation? Here we show that peak attendance in US national parks experiencing climate change has shifted 4 days earlier since 1979. Of the nine parks experiencing significant increases in mean spring temperatures, seven also exhibit shifts in the timing of peak attendance. Of the 18 parks without significant temperature changes, only 3 exhibit attendance shifts. Our analysis suggests that humans are among the organisms shifting behavior in response to climate change.


Climate change Human-environment interaction Phenological shift Phenology Recreation Spring Tourism 



We thank the National Park Service for providing visitation data. Thanks to J. Bruno, C. Costello, M. Hastings, A. Hurlbert, J. Kingsolver, D. McGlinn, and J. Stegen for comments on the analyses and manuscript.

Supplementary material

484_2011_508_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (143 kb)
Fig. S1 (PDF 142 kb)


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Copyright information

© ISB 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BiologyUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel HillUSA

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