Preparing for Climate Change in the Pacific Northwest
Well before the introduction of humans into North America, climate change was affecting this environment. Since the advent of modernized culture, however, the rate of change in areas like the Pacific Northwest has drastically altered. In this region, a declining snowpack, for example, will greatly affect the region’s hydrology which, in turn, will impact fishery habitat and energy generation in the coming years. These impending problems, along with many others, have forced us to address the issue of adaptation and find solutions for both urban and protected areas sooner rather than later.
In this panel discussion moderated by Dr. Joshua Lawler, Associate Professor of the School of Forest Resources at the University of Washington, three experts discuss how the Pacific Northwest will be impacted by climate change and how it should be managed. Dr. Anthony Barnosky, Island Press author and Professor of Integrative Biology at the University of California- Berkeley, discusses what future level of warming can be expected in the region. Dr. Jennifer Hoffman, Island Press author and Senior Scientist at EcoAdapt, discusses climate change adaptation projects and efforts occuring in the Pacific Northwest. And Matt Kuharic, King County Climate Change Program Coordinator, speaks about specific efforts being made at the county level in King County. After the presentations, Dr. Lawler leads the panelists in a discussion focusing on the uncertainty of climate change, triage, prioritization, and win-win adaptation strategies, among other topics. Finally, the panelists respond to detailed questions from the audience that encompass issues such as county zoning, tribal rights, and the likely effect of sea-level rise on Seattle and the Puget Sound.