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Posts tagged Everglades National Park

Climate Change in the Everglades, Florida, USA – March 22nd, 2013

25.8N 81.3W

March 22nd, 2013 Category: Climate Change, Image of the day, Wetlands

USA – March 21st, 2013

Visible along the southwestern part of the tip of Florida, USA is the Everglades National Park. Nearly flat and perched on the edge of a rising ocean, the park is already feeling the effects of a warming climate. Sea level rise has brought significant changes that are already being observed on the landscape, and more will likely be seen in the years ahead.

The environment of south Florida and the Everglades is unique because of its low elevation and subtropical climate. Along the coast, seasonal pulses of freshwater from the north meet the constant fluctuation of the tides that nurture several distinct ecosystems, including buttonwood forests. These coastal communities are home to many rare and endangered plants such as tropical orchids and herbs, some of which are found only in south Florida.

Unfortunately, these species’ special home is in danger because the habitat is changing, in part, due to sea level rise-causing the salinization of groundwater and the soils above. It is unclear whether or not these species can tolerate the increased salinity that will come as sea level continues to rise due to climate change.

Scientists measure water levels throughout the park-including the many inland, freshwater habitats. The water level in these areas varies with changes in rainfall and freshwater flow as well as influences from ocean tides. Over the last 50 years, the scientists have observed an increase in the water level at some inland, freshwater sites in the park that is consistent in pace with the observed increase in regional sea level. Though it is presently unclear why this correlation exists, and what implications it might have for the freshwater environments of the Everglades, it does suggest the influence of sea level rise may reach far inland (click here for more information).

Southern End of the Florida Peninsula, USA

25.7N 80.1W

December 18th, 2009 Category: Lakes

USA - November 19th, 2009

USA - November 19th, 2009

The southern section of the east coast of Florida, USA, appears greyish tan in color due to the string of populated areas along the shoreline, including the cities of West Palm Beach, Boynton Beach, Pompano Beach, Fort Lauderdale and Miami (from north to south).

The brown and dark green lands west of the urban zone are part of  Big Cypress National Preserve and the Everglades National Park. The islands of the Florida Keys curve off to the southwest from the tip of the peninsula. Further north, important bodies of water include the sizeable Lake Okeechobee and Charlotte Harbor (west coast).

Miami and the Everglades in Southern Florida, USA

25.7N 80.1W

December 7th, 2009 Category: Snapshots

USA - November 18th, 2009

USA - November 18th, 2009

Sediments trail into the Gulf of Mexico from the Everglades on the southern tip of the state of Florida, USA. The Everglades are subtropical wetlands that include sawgrass marshes, cypress swamps, mangrove forests, tropical hardwood hammocks, pine rockland, and the marine environment of Florida Bay.

The darkest green section at the very bottom of the peninsula is part of the Everglades National Park, the largest subtropical wilderness in the United States. It contains the southern 25 percent of the original Everglades marshland region of southwestern Florida.

Moving northeastward, the city of Miami and other urban zones can be seen as a greyish area along the eastern shores. Miami is the only major city in the United States bordered by two national parks, Everglades National Park on the west, and Biscayne National Park on the east.

Miami and its suburbs are located on a broad plain between the Florida Everglades to the west and Biscayne Bay to the east that also extends from Florida Bay north to Lake Okeechobee. The elevation of the area never rises above 40 ft (12 m) and averages at around 6 ft (1.8 m) above mean sea level in most neighborhoods, especially near the coast.