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Climate Impacts on the Pacific Northwest. The Science of Global Warming:. Eric Salath₫ Climate Impacts Group (JISAO/SMA) University of Washington. The Greenhouse Effect ”. Is Our Climate Changing? The Pacific Northwest. 113 stations with long records Almost every station shows warming

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Climate impacts on the pacific northwest
Climate Impacts on the Pacific Northwest

The Science of Global Warming:

  • Eric Salath₫

  • Climate Impacts Group (JISAO/SMA)University of Washington

Is our climate changing the pacific northwest
Is Our Climate Changing?The Pacific Northwest

  • 113 stations with long records

  • Almost every station shows warming

  • Urbanization not a major source of warming

100-year Temperature Trends


Climate impacts on the pacific northwest

Humans are altering the atmosphere

  • from a very long term perspective, these changes are enormous

  • carbon dioxide concentration has increased by ~30% since 1750’s

Climate impacts on the pacific northwest


Human Climate Influence

Natural Climate Influence

All Climate Influences

From IPCC Working Group I

Future climate change
Future Climate Change

  • Climate is changing, and humans are partly responsible.

  • Average surface temperature will probably increase by 3 to 11°F (1.5-6.0°C) by the year 2100.

  • Other climate changes are likely to accompany this warming (precipitation, storm tracks).

  • These changes will have both positive and negative consequences.

What might climate change look like in the northwest
What Might Climate Change Look Like in the Northwest?

  • We looked at 7 scenarios of future climate from climate models

  • Averages of 7 scenarios, compared to 20th century:

    • 2F warmer by 2020s

    • 4F warmer by 2050s

    • Slightly wetter

  • Winters wetter

  • Summers ???

The main impact less snow
The Main Impact: Less Snow

April 1





Impacts of hydrologic changes
Impacts of Hydrologic Changes

Less snow, earlier melt means

  • More water in winter

  • Less water in summer

  • Flooding

  • Irrigation

  • Salmon

  • Hydropower

  • Municipal water

Natural Columbia River flow at the Dalles, OR.

Are we prepared for a changing climate
Are We Prepared for a Changing Climate?

Natural resource management presently assumes

Climate does not change

But what if it does?

Becoming climatewise
Becoming Climatewise

  • Use climate information

    Requires on-going dialogue between decision-makers, climate scientists, and the general public

  • Create centralized & adaptable management strategies

  • Learn from the past


  • Climate change likely to significantly affect the pacific northwest

  • Main impact: reduction in snowcap, summer streamflow

  • Will exacerbate existing stresses in many cases

  • Need to retool institutions and government agencies to respond to climate information and to plan for a changed climate

  • Consider climate a component of any long-term plan