The Pacific Northwest will face increased risks from declining forest health, earlier snowmelt and an array of coastal issues, according to a new comprehensive report on what climate change means for Washington, Oregon and Idaho.
Amy Snover, director of the University of Washington’s Climate Impacts Group, was one of three editors of the 270-page report published this week by Island Press.
“As we looked across both economic and ecological dimensions, the three that stood out were less snow, more wildfires and challenges to the coastal environment and infrastructure,” she said.
The report, coordinated by Oregon State University’s Oregon Climate Change Research Institute, is the first regional climate assessment in more than a decade. This document and the 1999 report were created as part of the U.S. National Climate Assessment. Washington and Oregon produced state-level reports in 2009 and 2010.
Editor Philip Mote at OSU said this report updates the science and addresses some new dimensions – including how climate change will affect human health and Northwest tribes that rely on natural resources.