It is here. It is happening now. Temperatures are warming in Blackfeet Country. While precipitation is increasing in winter and spring, rainfall is decreasing in summer. These changes are impacting our health and our environment.
What is climate change? Climate change is sometimes confused with weather. While weather is the daily changes we see outside, climate is the usual weather pattern in a region. Climate change is how climate trends change over time.
What causes climate change? Climate change is caused by a build-up of greenhouse gases that trap heat in our atmosphere. These greenhouse gases are a result of the impact of people’s lifestyles, such as power plants, vehicle emissions, forest clearing, etc. These activities produce substantial amounts of carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and chloroflourocarbons which prevent heat from escaping our atmosphere, increasing global temperatures.
The Blackfeet Nation is building resilience to climate change. We are planning ahead via the support of our tribal council, various tribal departments, and increasingly engaging young people. By this method, we are sharing information about how we can prepare as the climate changes. We are not alone in our efforts, and find inspiration from adaptation efforts by indigenous people around the world.
Climate change is impacting the regional environment of western Montana, including temperature and precipitation patterns.
Climate change impacts our health in many different ways. We must understand who is most vulnerable, and what we can do to help others and ourselves.