Oregon Is Becoming Hotter, With More Rain And Fewer Snow, According To Climate Study

Oregon Is Becoming Hotter: According to the Sixth Oregon Climate Assessment, released this week, Oregon still faces hazards associated with climate change but has witnessed the increased potential for adaptation and mitigation. The Oregon Climate Change Research Institute, located at Oregon State University, publishes the assessment every two years.

This magazine covers a wide range of topics relevant to the potential effects of climate change, including the latest climate models, temperature, drought, and wildfires, as well as coastal hazards, economics, public health, and social systems.

Oregon Is Becoming Hotter, With More Rain And Fewer Snow

The 2021 heat dome incident set records for high temperatures and caused hundreds of deaths in the Pacific Northwest; this report is the first to analyze the situation since then. More frequent and severe heat waves are expected, according to the analysis.

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“Generally speaking, the qualitative climate estimates haven’t altered much,” said OCCRI Director Erica Fleishman. “It’s getting hotter, and a higher percentage of precipitation is coming down as rain rather than snow, which impacts water availability.”

The average number of days per year in which temperatures in Oregon were over 90 degrees and the average number of nights per year in which temperatures topped 65 degrees increased between 2011 and 2020, according to the study’s authors, compared to the period between 1951 and 2010.

The research also notes that droughts have been more often, widespread, and severe over the previous two decades. Because of this, the average total yearly area scorched by wildfires has been growing.

Oregon Is Becoming Hotter, With More Rain And Fewer Snow
Oregon Is Becoming Hotter, With More Rain And Fewer Snow

Heat waves in the summer and hot, dry fall weather are being linked by scientists to accelerated warming in the Arctic, a phenomenon known as Arctic amplification.

The paper adds that if we keep emitting greenhouse gases at our current rates, Oregon’s average annual temperature would rise by 5 degrees Fahrenheit by the 2050s and 8.2 degrees Fahrenheit by the 2080s.

The frequency of snowstorms in the winter is expected to rise while the amount of rain that falls during the summer is predicted to fall somewhat.

It has been speculated by researchers that Western Oregon, already known for its strong winter winds, may see even more of them in the future. They predict that the occurrence of strong easterly winds during the summer and fall will diminish somewhat.

As the availability of water and irrigation changes over the years, experts warn that climate change effects on Oregon might affect the state’s finances, notably the farming and wood sectors. Forest landowners might be incentivized to store carbon at a lower cost with the help of financial incentives, according to scientists, who also suggest investing in wave and offshore wind generation.

The report finds that indigenous communities are disproportionately affected by climate change, but that early adaptation can help them weather the storm.

The research highlights the threats that climate change poses to Oregon’s environment, economy, and way of life, but it also highlights the possibilities that exist to help chart a new route.

Positive data were included in the evaluation, such as a poll performed after the 2020 wildfires showing that 90% of people surveyed had made at least one personal step to prepare for future catastrophes. Prepare for potential emergencies by doing things like gathering supplies for an evacuation or signing up for alert systems.

People who took part in the study were overwhelmingly in favor of initiatives that would facilitate climate change adaptation and mitigation.

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“Oregonians care about one other and the environment regardless of political affiliation or personal identity,” Fleishman added. To combat the effects of climate change on their livelihoods and quality of life, citizens of our state are using a wide range of strategies.

You may read the whole report by visiting the website of the Oregon Climate Change Research Institute.

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