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Climate Change

Climate Change

It's happening. Glaciers are retreating. Spring comes earlier: frozen waters thaw, leaves open, and plants bloom sooner. Animal breeding and migration patterns have shifted. Human-caused climate change is already here.

What are the implications of climate change for Oregon? Climate models predict that by 2050 Oregon will be a warmer and wetter place. There will be more precipitation in the winter, and it will fall as rain, rather than as snow. Summer droughts will last longer.

Some possible results of climate change in the Pacific Northwest are:

  • More winter flooding
  • Increased erosion and landslides
  • Beach loss from rising sea levels
  • Diminished salmon runs due to low summer flows, higher summer stream temperatures, and more winter sedimentation and flooding
  • More stress on forests, and greater risk of forest fires

Sources

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Working Group II. Climate Change 2007: Climate Change Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability: Summary for Policymakers. IPCC. 2007.

Koberstein, Paul. 2007. Hot or Not: Oregon's Official Weatherman Has Good News About Global Warming - It Doesnt Exist. Willamette Week August 24, 2005.

Oregon State University Institute for Natural Resources. Is It All Hot Air? Climate Change, Global Wamring & the Pacific Northwest. Corvallis, OR: INR. [Accessed April 13, 2007].

University of Washington Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and the Ocean Center for Science in the Earth System, Climate Impacts Group. Climate Change. Seattle, WA: The Institute. [Accessed April 13, 2007].

Compiled by Susan Gilmont, Staff, OSU Libraries