Thursday, August 07, 2014

Pac Northwest's Impact from AGW to be Relatively Mild?

University of Washington atmospheric scientist Cliff Mass was on Oregon Public Radio a little while ago, talking about what models say about the impact of climate change on the Pacific Northwest. (Audio to appear here.)

His message was that the Pacific Northwest looks to come out relatively well during this century's climate change: No significant threat from sea level rise, perhaps some impact on the atmospheric river ("the Pineapple Express" that brings storms to this region, probably some impact on snow levels and hence water supplies, and ocean acidification (which is already affecting this region):
Cliff Mass, a professor of atmospheric sciences at the University of Washington, says that whether you look at temperature, sea rise, drought dangers, or likelihood of severe storms, the Northwest seems like an oasis of relative stability compared to the rest of the U.S.

Does that mean that we can expect a big in-migration of climate change refugees, as some studies have explored?
If true, that means most of what we have to worry about is the (already overdue) M9 earthquake lurking somewhere in our future.

Speaking of impacts here, this week the federal government cut off water to about "one-third of the farms on a federal irrigation project" in the Klamath river basin in southern Oregon. And it's going to hurt:
Greg Addington of the Klamath Water Users Association said Tuesday that the most recent cutoff means no more water for 50,000 acres of the project. Most of those farms produce hay, and losing irrigation will mean they lose up to half their crop for the year, he said.

Addington expects there will be enough water for the remaining farms on the project to finish the season.

Rain and snowfall over the winter was the lowest in 20 years and the third lowest on record, he said. The drought is worse than in 2001, when irrigation was shut off to nearly all of the project to maintain water for endangered sucker fish in Upper Klamath Lake and threatened coho salmon in the Klamath River.
(Emphasis mine.)

1 comment:

Fixed Carbon said...

Have you read Cliff Mass's perspective on ocean acidification?