Public lands & the climate crisis: Ask a scientist

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This blog is part of a blog series that connects the dots between public lands and the climate crisis.

The Earth is getting warmer and it’s wreaking havoc on our communities and ecosystems. We’re experiencing more frequent and intense wildfires, drought and heat waves, among other climate disasters. 

There’s no doubt these increasingly severe and frequent weather events are linked to a warming planet. The greenhouse gases being excessively released by humans are trapping heat in the planet’s atmosphere – and we’re feeling it here on the surface. But there are ways to slow down this process and therefore reduce the number and intensity of extreme weather events.

But that requires using every tool at our disposal–including better managing U.S. public lands. The Wilderness Society’s senior science director, Greg Aplet, answered your questions about how public lands are contributing to this crisis, and how they can help to turn things around.

Are U.S. public lands contributing to the climate crisis?


Climate change is making the wildfire season longer, more severe and harder to control. Why?


Instead of fueling climate change, can U.S. public lands help slow it down?