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Eugene-Springfield face Upper Willamette climate threats
Date:3/3/2009

lace significant stresses on the natural, built, human and economic sectors in the Upper Willamette River Basin," said Bob Doppelt, director of the Climate Leadership Initiative. "If no action is taken to prepare for the likely stresses, damages could amount to millions of dollars in direct costs. The indirect costs, along with reduced quality-of-life, undoubtedly will be greater than this amount."

Among the report's recommendations are new approaches to cooperative public-private planning and decision-making, limited commercial or residential development into areas still dominated by forests and natural vegetation or into floodplains, and the establishment of cooling centers to reduce health consequences during extreme heat events for low income families, the elderly and infirmed.

"While Lane County farm and forest businesses will be affected by warming temperatures, the report identifies profitable strategies to cope with climate impacts such as increasing water use and energy efficiencies and developing distributed renewable energy technologies," said Roger Hamilton, UO CLI staff who co-managed the report. "Researching and planting vine, orchard, and tree species more suitable to the new climate conditions are opportunities to become more competitive over the coming decades."

"Preparing for Climate Change in the Upper Willamette River Basin of Western Oregon" is the second of four reports that, authors say, are the first such comprehensive scaling down of global models to specific river basins in the United States. The three models involved (Hadley, CSIRO and MIROC) are used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a scientific intergovernmental body established in 1988 by the World Meteorological Organization and United Nations Environment Programme.

The models agree that annual average temperatures in the Upper Willamette will rise 6-8 degrees Fahrenheit by 2080, storm events will increase in intensity and changed gr
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Contact: Jim Barlow
jebarlow@uoregon.edu
541-346-3481
University of Oregon
Source:Eurekalert  

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