Photographer: Jordan Whitt

A National Park Sent, and Later Deleted, Tweets About Climate Change

The incident raises questions about the new administration’s position on climate change.

President Donald Trump entered the White House last Friday, with a years-long trail of questionable statements about climate change behind him and a fondness for Twitter. On Monday, the new administration froze grants and contracts at the Environmental Protection Agency. On Tuesday, the president took steps to advance construction of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines. 

Then something curious happened. 

Badlands National Park's Twitter account sent a series of tweets about climate change on Tuesday afternoon. The tweets have since been deleted, but screenshots last forever.

Source: National Park Service;

One tweet focused on carbon dioxide, the most important greenhouse gas heating the atmosphere. The Bloomberg Carbon Clock currently estimates the atmospheric level of CO2 at 407.6 parts per million, or more than 40 percent higher than before the burning of coal, oil, and gas began in earnest. 

The land-locked park in South Dakota also brought attention to global warming's "evil twin," the gradual loss of alkalinity in the seas, more commonly known as "ocean acidification." 

Source: National Park Service;

Many people responded to the tweets, most offering moral support, corroborating facts, and even offering to help the person sending the messages find a new job in case he or she is fired. 

The tweets were deleted from the @BadlandNPS account shortly before 5:30 p.m. Multiple phone calls to Badlands National Park went unanswered, and @BadlandsNPS hasn’t responded to an interview request made via Twitter.

The impetus for the tweets remains a scientific unknown.