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Climate change, dirty air plague Yellowstone

Submitted by Newsroom on November 28, 2011 – 7:08 amNo Comment

By The Associated Press

JACKSON, Wyo.  – A recent report says the air quality in Yellowstone National Park’s is getting worse.

Yellowstone's Norris Geyser

The Natural Resource Vital Signs report measures park health based on the condition of 25 natural resources in 2010. It was authored by Yellowstone National Park.

Temperature, precipitation, snowpack and stream flow are all within normal ranges.

But the study finds indications that the growing season in the park has been starting earlier and getting longer.

Biologists say the longer summer season allows pine beetles to reproduce more than once, and warmer temperatures mean fewer deep freezes to kill them. Many white-bark pine trees have died from beetles and blister rust.

The study shows visibility, ozone and sulfur concentrations are considered moderate worries, while nitrogen concentrations are a bigger concern.

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