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How Much Do You Know About The Impacts Of Climate Change On Iconic American Historic Sites?

Rising sea levels, longer wildfire seasons, and other climate change impacts are already affecting many homes and jobs. But climate change will also affect the Statue of Liberty, American beginnings at Jamestown Island, archaeological sites and communities on the Bering Land Bridge, and other sites that define American identity. Take this quiz to test your knowledge of climate change impacts on these and other iconic American places.

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  1. At how many national park sites (by percentage) can you already see the impacts of climate change on landscapes or structures?

    cpr.org

    Spruce Tree House at Mesa Verde National Park.

    Correct
    Incorrect
    5%
    Correct
    Incorrect
    10%
    Correct
    Incorrect
    20%
    Correct
    Incorrect
    40%
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    20%, or 1 in 5 of our National Parks!

    While approximately 20% of national park sites have observed climate change impacts to their landscapes or structures, the National Park Service reports that approximately 96% of its landholdings are in areas with recorded warming patterns in the past century. This means almost all of our American heritage within the park service system may be at risk from future climate change impacts.

    20%, or 1 in 5 of our National Parks!
    Via climatechange.medill.northwestern.edu
  2. Approximately how many historic structures in New Orleans were damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Katrina in 2005?

    encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com

    Aerial view of New Orleans

    Correct
    Incorrect
    500-1,000 historic structures
    Correct
    Incorrect
    1,000-2,000 historic structures
    Correct
    Incorrect
    2,000-4,000 historic structures
    Correct
    Incorrect
    4,000-6,000 historic structures
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    4,000-6,000 historic structures

    Approximately 1,000 historic structures in New Orleans were destroyed directly by Hurricane Katrina. After the storm, an additional 3,000-5,000 structures were destroyed because they had sustained irreparable damage or because the resources to repair these structures were not available.

    4,000-6,000 historic structures
    Via google.com
  3. Which national park sites have already been affected by increased wildfires?

    trbimg.com

    Wildfire approaches Bass Lake in California

    Correct
    Incorrect
    Via national-park.com
    Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Via i.ytimg.com
    Bandelier National Monument, New Mexico
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Via monumentsforall.org
    César E. Chávez National Monument, California
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Via nps.gov
    All Three
    Via nps.gov
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    All Three Sites!

    Climate change is already raising temperatures and increasing the risk of large and devastating wildfires in the western United States, causing damage to historic and archaeological sites. Nearly half of Mesa Verde’s 52,000 acres burned in 2000. In 2011, 160,000 acres of Bandelier National Monument were destroyed in the Las Conchas Fire, the second-largest fire in New Mexico’s history. The 116-acre property and historic structure at the newly designated César E. Chávez National Monument has not been affected yet, but increased wildfires threaten the livelihood and safety of farm workers, whose rights Chávez championed.

    All Three Sites!
  4. By 2065, what percentage of National Park Service archaeological sites will likely be lost due to sea level rise and erosion on Jamestown Island at Colonial National Historical Park?

    findyourchesapeake.com

    View from Historic Jamestowne

    Correct
    Incorrect
    35%
    Correct
    Incorrect
    55%
    Correct
    Incorrect
    75%
    Correct
    Incorrect
    95%
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    95%

    Jamestown, home to important Native American, Anglo-American, and African-American sites, is located on a sediment river system that is quickly eroding due to sea level rise, storm surge, and groundwater flooding. So far, two archaeological sites on Jamestown have disappeared due to climate change and another 24 sites are being submerged or eroded. By 2065, approximately 95% of National Park Service archaeological sites on Jamestown will likely be lost. While we may not be able to reverse this climate process, we can make intentional and informed decisions about how to recover data and memorialize these sites now.

  5. Which construction materials that make up Fort Jefferson in the Dry Tortugas, are most susceptible to rising sea levels, increasing storm activity, and salt exposure?

    nps.gov

    View of Fort Jefferson

    Correct
    Incorrect
    Via vonherberstein.com
    Wooden Beams
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Via image/jpeg;base64,/9j/4AAQSkZJRgABAQAAAQABAAD/2wCEAAkGBxITEhUTExMWFhUWGR0aGBgYGRoXGxkfGh0XGhoeGBoYHSggGholGxgaITEiJSkrLi4uFx8zODMtNygtLisBCgoKDg0OGxAQGy0lICUvLS0tLy0tLS8tMi0tLS0tLS0tLS0tNS0vLS0tLS0tLS0tLS0tLS0tLS0tLS0tLS0tLf/AABEIAKIA8AMBIgACEQEDEQH/xAAbA
    Metal Components
    Via image/jpeg;base64,/9j/4AAQSkZJRgABAQAAAQABAAD/2wCEAAkGBxITEhUTExMWFhUWGR0aGBgYGRoXGxkfGh0XGhoeGBoYHSggGholGxgaITEiJSkrLi4uFx8zODMtNygtLisBCgoKDg0OGxAQGy0lICUvLS0tLy0tLS8tMi0tLS0tLS0tLS0tNS0vLS0tLS0tLS0tLS0tLS0tLS0tLS0tLS0tLf/AABEIAKIA8AMBIgACEQEDEQH/xAAbA
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Via org.coloradomesa.edu
    Brick Masonry
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Via nps.gov
    Adobe Walls
    Via nps.gov
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Metal Components

    We think of metal as a hardier building material than wood, brick, or adobe. However, in salty conditions metal fittings can corrode. At Fort Jefferson, iron shutters were fitted to open when soldiers were firing their cannon, then close again to protect soldiers from enemy shot. As the metal fixtures corrode, they expand, causing surrounding walls to crumble. The brick used to build Fort Jefferson and similar coastal forts is also susceptible to damage from storm surge, inundation, and sea level rise.

    Metal Components
    Via nps.gov
  6. Which historic landscape feature has already been relocated to prevent climate change damages?

    Correct
    Incorrect
    Via image/jpeg;base64,/9j/4AAQSkZJRgABAQAAAQABAAD/2wCEAAkGBxQTEhUSExMWFhUXGBoYGBgYGBcdGhsXHRcYHhcYGhsYHSggHRolHRgXIjEhJSkrLi4uGB8zODMuNygtLisBCgoKDg0OGxAQGy8mICUtLS0tLTUvLTUtLS0tLS0tLS0tLS0tLS0tLS0tLS0tLS0tLS0tLS0tLS0tLS0tLS0tLf/AABEIAMwA9wMBIgACEQEDEQH/xAAbA
    Fort McHenry, Maryland
    Via image/jpeg;base64,/9j/4AAQSkZJRgABAQAAAQABAAD/2wCEAAkGBxQTEhUSExMWFhUXGBoYGBgYGBcdGhsXHRcYHhcYGhsYHSggHRolHRgXIjEhJSkrLi4uGB8zODMuNygtLisBCgoKDg0OGxAQGy8mICUtLS0tLTUvLTUtLS0tLS0tLS0tLS0tLS0tLS0tLS0tLS0tLS0tLS0tLS0tLS0tLS0tLf/AABEIAMwA9wMBIgACEQEDEQH/xAAbA
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Via cdn.history.com
    Gettysburg Battlefield, Pennsylvania
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Via image/jpeg;base64,/9j/4AAQSkZJRgABAQAAAQABAAD/2wCEAAkGBxIQEBUQEBIVFRUVFRYVFRUVFRUVFhUVFhUWFhcVFRUYHSggGBolGxgVITIhJSkrLi4uFx8zODMsNygtLisBCgoKDg0OGxAQGy0lHyU1LS0tLS0tLS0tLS0tLS0rLS0vLS0tLS0tLS0tLS0tLS0tLS0tLS0tLS0tLS0tLS0tLf/AABEIAMMBAwMBIgACEQEDEQH/xAAbA
    Devil's Tower, Wyoming
    Via image/jpeg;base64,/9j/4AAQSkZJRgABAQAAAQABAAD/2wCEAAkGBxIQEBUQEBIVFRUVFRYVFRUVFRUVFhUVFhUWFhcVFRUYHSggGBolGxgVITIhJSkrLi4uFx8zODMsNygtLisBCgoKDg0OGxAQGy0lHyU1LS0tLS0tLS0tLS0tLS0rLS0vLS0tLS0tLS0tLS0tLS0tLS0tLS0tLS0tLS0tLS0tLf/AABEIAMMBAwMBIgACEQEDEQH/xAAbA
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Via image/jpeg;base64,/9j/4AAQSkZJRgABAQAAAQABAAD/2wCEAAkGBxISEBUQEBIVFhUVFRUVFRUVFxUVFRUVFRUWFhUVFRUYHSggGBolGxUVITEhJSkrLi4uFx8zODMtNygtLisBCgoKDg0OFxAQGi0lHR8rLi0tLS0tLS0tLS0vLS0tLS0tLS0tLS0tLSstLS0tLS0tLS0tLS0tLS0tLS0tLS0tLf/AABEIALYBFAMBIgACEQEDEQH/xAAbA
    Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, North Carolina
    Via image/jpeg;base64,/9j/4AAQSkZJRgABAQAAAQABAAD/2wCEAAkGBxISEBUQEBIVFhUVFRUVFRUVFxUVFRUVFRUWFhUVFRUYHSggGBolGxUVITEhJSkrLi4uFx8zODMtNygtLisBCgoKDg0OFxAQGi0lHR8rLi0tLS0tLS0tLS0vLS0tLS0tLS0tLS0tLSstLS0tLS0tLS0tLS0tLS0tLS0tLS0tLf/AABEIALYBFAMBIgACEQEDEQH/xAAbA
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, North Carolina

    In 1999, Cape Hatteras Lighthouse was moved approximately 3000 feet inland due to encroaching shoreline. Although the move protected the structure, the lighthouse is no longer in its original location or on the shore. While Cape Hatteras Lighthouse could be partially preserved in this way, other sites with extensive brick and/or earthworks such as Fort McHenry, sites with important natural features such as the Grand Canyon, or sites that are defined by the place and archaeological materials such as Gettysburg Battlefield cannot be moved. These sites may be exposed to longer wildfire seasons, more intense precipitation events, drought, sea level rise, and other factors linked with climate change.

    Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, North Carolina
    Via image/jpeg;base64,/9j/4AAQSkZJRgABAQAAAQABAAD/2wCEAAkGBxQTEhUTExMWFhUXGB0YGBcYGRodHRoXGhgYGBoaGhsZHSggGxolHR0WIjEiJSkrLi4uHR8zODMtNygtLisBCgoKDg0OGhAQGi0lHSUtLS0tLS0tLS0tLS0tLS0tLS0tLS0tLS0tLS0tLS0tLS0tLS0tLS0tLS0tLS0tLS0tLf/AABEIAKgBLAMBIgACEQEDEQH/xAAbA
  7. Approximately how many Indigenous Alaskans are in the process of relocating due to climate change?

    nytimes.com

    Abandoned house in Shishmaref, Alaska

    Correct
    Incorrect
    10
    Correct
    Incorrect
    600
    Correct
    Incorrect
    1300
    Correct
    Incorrect
    3600
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    1300

    To date, three native villages in Alaska - approximately 1300 residents in total - have voted to relocate. Rising sea levels and erosion disproportionately affect coastal Indigenous communities, which were once mobile but now depend on built infrastructure such as schools and power plants. Residents of Shishmaref, located on a small island north of the Bering Strait, voted to relocate in August 2016 due to shoreline loss. The village of Kivalina no longer forms enough sea ice to protect the population from winter storms and Newtok is under threat from erosion. According to the Arctic Institute, 31 Alaskan villages face imminent destruction, which will also impact cultural practices.

    1300
    Via accap.uaf.edu
  8. Which iconic American seafood dish is becoming difficult to source locally due to climate change?

    Correct
    Incorrect
    Via google.com
    New England lobster rolls
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Via image/jpeg;base64,/9j/4AAQSkZJRgABAQAAAQABAAD/2wCEAAkGBxMTEhUTExMWFhUWGB8YGBgYGBgdGhgZGBcWGBkWFxcYHSggGB0lHRcXITEhJSkrLi4uFx8zODMtNygtLisBCgoKDg0OGxAQGjUlICUtKy4tLS0vLS01LTAtLSstLS0rLS0tLTUyLS0tLS0rNy8tNS0tMi8tLS0tLS0tLS0tLf/AABEIAIQAsAMBIgACEQEDEQH/xAAcA
    Chesapeake blue crab cakes
    Via image/jpeg;base64,/9j/4AAQSkZJRgABAQAAAQABAAD/2wCEAAkGBxMTEhUTExMWFhUWGB8YGBgYGBgdGhgZGBcWGBkWFxcYHSggGB0lHRcXITEhJSkrLi4uFx8zODMtNygtLisBCgoKDg0OGxAQGjUlICUtKy4tLS0vLS01LTAtLSstLS0rLS0tLTUyLS0tLS0rNy8tNS0tMi8tLS0tLS0tLS0tLf/AABEIAIQAsAMBIgACEQEDEQH/xAAcA
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Via upload.wikimedia.org
    Cioppino using California dungeness crab, salmon, and oysters
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Via image/jpeg;base64,/9j/4AAQSkZJRgABAQAAAQABAAD/2wCEAAkGBxQTEhUTEhMWFhUXGRobGRgYGR0dIBsaHh4aHh4fHSAhISogHh8lGyAeIjEhJSkrLy4uHiEzODMtNygtLisBCgoKDg0OGxAQGzgmICU1LS0yMDUtLS0vLS81Ly0vLTItLS8tLS0tNS0tLS8tLy0tNS0tLy0tLS0tNS0tLS0tLf/AABEIALkBEAMBIgACEQEDEQH/xAAcA
    All Three
    Via image/jpeg;base64,/9j/4AAQSkZJRgABAQAAAQABAAD/2wCEAAkGBxQTEhUTEhMWFhUXGRobGRgYGR0dIBsaHh4aHh4fHSAhISogHh8lGyAeIjEhJSkrLy4uHiEzODMtNygtLisBCgoKDg0OGxAQGzgmICU1LS0yMDUtLS0vLS81Ly0vLTItLS8tLS0tNS0tLS8tLy0tNS0tLy0tLS0tNS0tLS0tLf/AABEIALkBEAMBIgACEQEDEQH/xAAcA
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    All Three

    As warming waters force America’s favorite crustaceans further north, American dinner plates will experience changes. No longer will Baltimore restaurants be able to source their crab cakes with Chesapeake blue crab or will Californian families be about to use local dungeness crab for their popular fish stew. These local culinary traditions will be altered because of ocean acidification, rising temperatures, and drought conditions.

    All Three
    Via ww2.kqed.org
  9. Digitization is one way we can conserve cultural resources that are threatened by climate change. In a recent survey, what percentage of cultural heritage institutions have written digital collections policies?

    plnl.org
    Correct
    Incorrect
    5%
    Correct
    Incorrect
    25%
    Correct
    Incorrect
    50%
    Correct
    Incorrect
    75%
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    25%

    Digitization can conserve heritage such as art, written stories, spoken word, images, music, and digital architectural data that may be affected by climate change. This is especially important in places where entire communities are forced to relocate, such as in Alaskan native villages. In order to digitize and preserve information, cultural heritage institutions and repositories will need to manage and enhance their capacity for digital collections. These institutions are working to write digital collections policies to account for the increase in digital materials.

    25%
    Via image/jpeg;base64,/9j/4AAQSkZJRgABAQAAAQABAAD/2wCEAAkGBxMSERUSExIWFRUXGBUXGBcWGBkXFRYXFRgYFxUVHRkaHyggGR4lHRUVITEhJSkrLi4uFx8zODMtNygtLisBCgoKDg0OGhAQGi0mHx8rNy0rLS0rKy01NistKy4tNy0rKy4vLS0rLS0tLS0tKzUvNy4tKystLS0uLy4tLS4rLf/AABEIAKcBLgMBIgACEQEDEQH/xAAcA
  10. Of the 23 national parks and monuments designated by President Obama since 2009, seven are dedicated to the histories of people of color, women, and the LGBT community. Of these, at least how many are already being impacted by climate change?

    The White House
    Correct
    Incorrect
    2
    Correct
    Incorrect
    3
    Correct
    Incorrect
    4
    Correct
    Incorrect
    5
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    2, so far...

    Fort Monroe and Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Monuments are already being damaged by sea level rise and coastal erosion. However, inland and urban sites such as the César Chávez and Stonewall Inn National Monuments are not immune. These sites are crucial to telling more inclusive stories, and social justice will have to be considered as we address the impacts of climate change on our cultural sites.

    2, so far...
    Via NPS
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