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Regional climate change experts gather at PSU to review new national report

More than 100 climate change experts from academia, government and other groups will gather Tuesday, March 12 at 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. to discuss the regional implications of the newly released draft National Climate Assessment Report.

The report was produced by a 60-person advisory committee empaneled by the U.S. Commerce Department, with the help of more than 240 authors.

The event, open to the public, takes place at Portland State University’s Smith Memorial Student Union, 1825 S.W. Broadway, Rooms 327 and 328 on the third floor.

The draft report’s 37-page section on the Northwest contains four key messages:

• Changes in the timing of streamflow related to changing snowmelt are already observed and will continue, reducing the supply of water for many competing demands and causing far-reaching ecological and socioeconomic consequences.

• In the coastal zone, the effects of erosion, inundation, threats to infrastructure and habitat, and increasing ocean acidity collectively pose a major threat to the region.

• The combined impact of increasing wildfire, insect outbreaks, and diseases is virtually certain to cause additional forest mortality by the 2040s and long-term transformation of forest landscapes. Almost complete loss of subalpine forests is expected by the 2080s.

• While the agriculture sector’s technical ability to adapt to changing conditions can offset some of the adverse impacts of a changing climate, there remain critical sector-specific concerns with respect to costs of adaptation, development of more climate resilient technologies and management, and availability and timing of water.

The full report is available at ncadac.globalchange.gov.