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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?

    Spruce Tree House at Mesa Verde National Park.
    cpr.org

    Spruce Tree House at Mesa Verde National Park.

    5%
    10%
    20%
    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?

    Aerial view of New Orleans
    encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com

    Aerial view of New Orleans

    500-1,000 historic structures
    1,000-2,000 historic structures
    2,000-4,000 historic structures
    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?

    Wildfire approaches Bass Lake in California
    trbimg.com

    Wildfire approaches Bass Lake in California

    Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado
    Via national-park.com
    Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado
    Bandelier National Monument, New Mexico
    Via i.ytimg.com
    Bandelier National Monument, New Mexico
    César E. Chávez National Monument, California
    Via monumentsforall.org
    César E. Chávez National Monument, California
    All Three
    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?

    View from Historic Jamestowne
    findyourchesapeake.com

    View from Historic Jamestowne

    35%
    55%
    75%
    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?

    View of Fort Jefferson
    nps.gov

    View of Fort Jefferson

    Wooden Beams
    Via vonherberstein.com
    Wooden Beams
    Metal Components
    Via image/jpeg;base64,/9j/4AAQSkZJRgABAQAAAQABAAD/2wCEAAkGBxITEhUTExMWFhUWGR0aGBgYGRoXGxkfGh0XGhoeGBoYHSggGholGxgaITEiJSkrLi4uFx8zODMtNygtLisBCgoKDg0OGxAQGy0lICUvLS0tLy0tLS8tMi0tLS0tLS0tLS0tNS0vLS0tLS0tLS0tLS0tLS0tLS0tLS0tLS0tLf/AABEIAKIA8AMBIgACEQEDEQH/xAAbA
    Metal Components
    Via image/jpeg;base64,/9j/4AAQSkZJRgABAQAAAQABAAD/2wCEAAkGBxITEhUTExMWFhUWGR0aGBgYGRoXGxkfGh0XGhoeGBoYHSggGholGxgaITEiJSkrLi4uFx8zODMtNygtLisBCgoKDg0OGxAQGy0lICUvLS0tLy0tLS8tMi0tLS0tLS0tLS0tNS0vLS0tLS0tLS0tLS0tLS0tLS0tLS0tLS0tLf/AABEIAKIA8AMBIgACEQEDEQH/xAAbA
    Adobe Walls
    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?

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

    Abandoned house in Shishmaref, Alaska
    nytimes.com

    Abandoned house in Shishmaref, Alaska

    10
    600
    1300
    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?

    New England lobster rolls
    Via google.com
    New England lobster rolls
    Chesapeake blue crab cakes
    Via image/jpeg;base64,/9j/4AAQSkZJRgABAQAAAQABAAD/2wCEAAkGBxMTEhUTExMWFhUWGB8YGBgYGBgdGhgZGBcWGBkWFxcYHSggGB0lHRcXITEhJSkrLi4uFx8zODMtNygtLisBCgoKDg0OGxAQGjUlICUtKy4tLS0vLS01LTAtLSstLS0rLS0tLTUyLS0tLS0rNy8tNS0tMi8tLS0tLS0tLS0tLf/AABEIAIQAsAMBIgACEQEDEQH/xAAcA
    Chesapeake blue crab cakes
    Via image/jpeg;base64,/9j/4AAQSkZJRgABAQAAAQABAAD/2wCEAAkGBxMTEhUTExMWFhUWGB8YGBgYGBgdGhgZGBcWGBkWFxcYHSggGB0lHRcXITEhJSkrLi4uFx8zODMtNygtLisBCgoKDg0OGxAQGjUlICUtKy4tLS0vLS01LTAtLSstLS0rLS0tLTUyLS0tLS0rNy8tNS0tMi8tLS0tLS0tLS0tLf/AABEIAIQAsAMBIgACEQEDEQH/xAAcA
    Cioppino using California dungeness crab, salmon, and oysters
    Via upload.wikimedia.org
    Cioppino using California dungeness crab, salmon, and oysters
    All Three
    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
    5%
    25%
    50%
    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
    2
    3
    4
    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

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

Climate History Student

You are engaged and interested in how climate change will affect historic preservation, and there is a lot to learn. Read the Union of Concerned Scientists’ “National Landmarks at Risk” report, linked on the image result, for more in-depth discussion of topics covered here. So what can you do? Keep up to date on the latest issues! Check out the US/ ICOMOS Climate Change and Heritage online Knowledge Exchange and the Keeping History Above Water news page as a starting point. Next, get in touch with your town planning office to see how they are preparing historic properties and important places in your town for climate change. Engage with your neighbors, co-workers, and local officials to hear their stories. You can even get involved in the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s “This Place Matters” campaign. Together, you all know best which artifacts, sites, and histories need to be protected from climate change to preserve the heritage of your community.

Climate History Student
ucsusa.org
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Climate History Buff

You know quite a bit about how climate change will affect historic landmarks, and are on the right track to becoming an expert. Read the Union of Concerned Scientists’ “National Landmarks at Risk” report, linked on the image result, for more in-depth discussion of topics covered here. In your local community, partner with local organizations, professionals, and individuals with diverse backgrounds, and interests to protect both built and intangible heritage. Last but not least, keep up to date on the latest issues! Check out US/ ICOMOS’ Climate Change and Heritage online knowledge community and Keeping History Above Water’s news page along with your favorite sources. Last but not least, keep up to date on the latest issues! Check out the US/ ICOMOS Climate Change and Heritage online Knowledge Exchange and the Keeping History Above Water news page along with your own favorite sources.

Climate History Buff
ucsusa.org
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Climate History Guru

You know exactly how climate change will affect our national historic sites and landscapes - now is the time to get involved! Read the Union of Concerned Scientists’ “National Landmarks at Risk” report, linked on the image result, for more in-depth discussion of topics covered here. In your local community, partner with local organizations, professionals, and individuals with diverse backgrounds, and interests to protect both built and intangible heritage. You can also get involved with the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s online historic preservation and climate change community for more research and to post your own ideas. Last but not least, keep up to date on the latest issues! Check out the US/ ICOMOS Climate Change and Heritage online Knowledge Exchange and the Keeping History Above Water news page along with your own favorite sources.

Climate History Guru
ucsusa.org
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