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BEND, OR -- Climate change research conducted at the U.S. Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station points to changes we will eventually have to adjust to. Nobel Laureate on Climate Change David Peterson is helping gather these findings. "Everyone is very concerned about water in the future," he tells The Source Weekly's Brian Jennings. "This is already a very arid region, and it’s going to get drier in the future – that’s going to effect water supply, it’s going to effect fish and it’s going to effect, to a certain extent, people’s access to certain things like water supply, recreational opportunities and so forth." 

 

This year's snowpack is considerably better than a year ago, but Peterson is still concerned. "I think it was really a gift to us to have this low snowpack here because it was sort of a wake-up call. I know a lot of climatologists think 2015 might be a window into the future; kind of the new normal after about mid-century. So, it gives us something to think about in terms of how will we manage this, how will we adapt to this?"

 

Jessica Halofsky is a University of Washington researcher. She says the future holds, "Definitely increasing temperatures across the board, that’s pretty certain. We also expect decreased snowpack, particularly at lower elevations and those middle elevations that don’t always have a lot of snow, to lose the snow; maybe almost completely. Precipitation is more uncertain for the future." Halofsky expects longer spring, summer and fall recreation seasons with higher temperatures, and shorter winters.

 

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