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Scientists update report on how Northwest will fare under climate change

A panel of Northwest scientists has completed a regional assessment on the implications of climate change, as part of the U.S. National Climate Assessment.

The 270-page report, many months in the making, provides the latest take on threats to forest health from insects and other factors, the prospect of earlier snow melts, impacts from rising sea levels, potential harm to fisheries and other topics.

The report also looks at impacts to human health and tribal issues, a new dimension not found in prior reports, says Philip Mote, director of the Oregon Climate Change Research Institute at Oregon State University, and one of three co-editors of the report.

Mote says new climate models suggest the Northwest will warm by a range of three to 14 degrees Fahrenheit by the end of this century. “The lower range will only be possible if greenhouse gas emissions are significantly reduced,” he says. In contrast, the Northwest warmed by 1.3 degrees from 1895 to 2011.

To read a summary of the report or the entire document: occri.net/reports.