Climate Change
Southeast Region

Did You Know...


Facts About How Climate Change is Affecting the Southeast United States

  • Warmer winters are changing the birds’ migratory patterns. Sooty terns, which nest in the Dry Tortugas off Key West, Fla., are showing up earlier and earlier. Roseate spoonbills (right), which generally stay in Florida, the Gulf Coast and points south, are now regularly spotted in South Carolina.

  • Record warm seawater is linked to coral reef bleaching in the Florida Keys and Puerto Rico. Learn more from NOAA’s Coral Reef Watch.

  • Some of the places most vulnerable to sea level rise in the U.S. are here in the Southeast, including the Mississippi Delta, the Florida Keys, the Everglades, and the North Carolina coast.

  • In the Southeast, rising sea levels are expected to flood as much as 30% of the habitat on the Service's coastal refuges, potentially displacing protected wildlife.
    • 67 of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Southeast Region's 128 national wildlife refuges are situated along the coast, from Louisiana to North Carolina.

  • According to the U.S. Global Change Research Program:

  • The average annual temperature has risen about 2 degrees Fahrenheit, with substantially warmer winters. Climate models project an increased rate of warming across the Southeast through 2100.

  • The number of freezing days has declined by four to seven days per year since the mid-1970s.

  • There has been an increase in heavy downpours in many parts of the Southeast, while the areas experiencing severe drought have increased over the past three decades.

A roseate spoonbill. Photo used with permission of Chad Anderson,


Last updated: September 24, 2010