Sustainability: Climate Change Series, Part Two: Climate Change Impacts

By City Sustainability Staff03 Road Closed

What global and national impacts will climate change have on Oregon?

Climate change will likely play a role in driving future national and global migrations with many looking at the Pacific Northwest as a place of refuge. Oregon and Washington State are already two of the fastest growing states in the U.S.

Why is climate change bad? Climate change is expected to increase the severity, length and frequency of severe weather events such as heat waves, droughts, floods and storms. Sea level rise coupled with increased storm surges will flood many of the world’s most densely populated regions, fertile agricultural land and infiltrate salt water into freshwater aquifers and wetlands. All of these factors will have negative impacts on agriculture, food security, the economy, public health and safety.

Expect warmer and wetter conditions here in Beaverton. The Pacific Northwest will likely experience increased rainfall during the fall, winter and spring with decreased mountain snowfall and much hotter and drier summers resulting in the gradual shrinkage of Cascade Glaciers. This will increase the severity of winter floods and summer droughts with much lower stream flows during the late summer. Increased energy use during the summer coupled with low streamflows will reduce the ability of hydropower facilities to meet those demands. This will also increase forest fires, resulting in poor air quality, loss of timber resources, ecological degradation and increased winter flooding and landslides.

Please look for our next climate change series article next month and learn more about what Beaverton is doing to address climate change by visiting our sustainability page here: