Adapting to Climate Change in the Blue Mountains

Resource managers and climate researchers are working together to help the Blue Mountains respond to climate change impacts. A recent report illustrates how.

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Flooding Could Double in High Rugged Regions

Washington state’s Cascade Mountains hold some of the Pacific Northwest’s most rugged terrain — a well-known fact to hikers, bikers, hunters and anglers who have explored these treasured areas. Understanding how climate change may affect the roads and trails needed to access these lands for recreation and management is the focus of a recent paper…

Mild River Basins More Prone to Flooding as Region Warms

As the Northwest warms, most river basins will become more prone to flooding, while others will remain relatively unchanged, a study from the University of Washington suggests. Flood risks appear to be linked to winter temperatures (which are largely determined by elevation). Lower-elevation, warmer-winter basins in Oregon and Washington could tend to flood more as…

Wetlands Act as Powerful Carbon Sinks

Wetlands in the Pacific Northwest are recognized for providing a variety of ecosystem services ranging from fisheries production to mitigation of flood risk. Now, a new report suggests that estuaries play an important role in managing greenhouse gas emissions. The report, prepared for Restore America’s Estuaries, estimates that wetland losses due to historic land-use changes…

Calculating Trends in Flood Risks and Water Stress

Changes in climate do not occur independently. Rather, they occur alongside changes in population, technology, patterns of development, and other factors. Yet most studies of future climate-change impacts ignore the interactions of these various trends. For example, the Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs) scenarios, which are widely used by researchers at OCCRI, CIRC and many other…