A new report published by the Oregon Climate Change Research Institute at Oregon State University details numerous areas of concern as we move forward toward the year 2100. Headlines from the report published earlier this month include:
1. Snow melt is occurring earlier and leading to a decline in summer stream flow. The decline will lead to lower water storage in Northwest reservoirs. Areas of the state that depend on summer irrigation for agriculture are likely to feel the impact.
2. Northwest forests are facing a huge increase in wildfires, in part due to disease and other disturbances related to climate change.
3. Sea levels are rising and could rise as much as 56 inches by the year 2100. Wave heights have been increasing in recent decades, threatening coastal dwellings, roads and other infrastructure.
4. Rising temperatures have warmed by 1.3 degrees over the past 100 years. Climate models project a further rise in temperature of at least 3 degrees Fahrenheit by the year 2100.
5. Less confidence is shown when projecting precipitation trends. Rainfall at PDX has actually decreased when averaged over the past 30 years. Climate models show more moisture will fall as rain as snow decreases in the coming years. Moisture projections range from a 10% decrease by the year 2100 to an increase of 18 percent.
You can read more of the study at: oregonstate.edu/ua/ncs/archives/2013/nov/climate-report
Meteorologist Rod Hill, follow me @