How Global Warming Is Changing How We Play Outside

Climate change is affecting America’s recreation meccas—from Yosemite to Yellowstone—in profound ways. As the planet heats up and weather patterns shift, so will the ways we interact with the outdoors.

With global temperatures having now landed above average for 380 consecutive months (just shy of 22 years), it is no longer surprising to see hotter summers, meager stream flows, more desert dust, and snow thaws in the dead of winter. “We’re mountain biking into November, and it feels like we’re spring skiing all winter long,” says Ray Rasker, a 30-year Bozeman resident and executive director of Headwaters Economics, a research firm that has extensively studied the intersection of climate change and recreation.

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