climate change

Snowpack
5:10 pm
Thu March 5, 2015

BPA Not Worried About Low Snowpack

The Northwest’s record-low snowfall has delivered a frustrating ski season this winter.
Credit Panda Poles / Flickr

The Northwest’s record-low snowfall has delivered a frustrating ski season this winter. And when summertime comes, the thin snowpack could make for low stream levels and tinder-dry forests.

But people who manage the Northwest’s biggest dams say they’re not worried.

"We’re doing just fine at the moment," Mike Hanson said.

Hanson is a spokesman for Bonneville Power Administration. It operates 31 federal dams on the Columbia and Snake Rivers, and provides about one-third of the electricity for the Northwest.

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Green Beer
8:06 am
Tue January 27, 2015

Portland Brewery Puts Low-Carbon Beer On Tap

A taste test: Migration Brewing presented samples of its low-carbon red beer (on coasters) alongside its traditional red beer.
Credit Stephen Baboi / Oregon Public Broadcasting

It's opening night for a new beer at Migration Brewing in Portland.

"Can I get a couple tasters of the low-carbon beer," a customer says.

The new brew is called the Little Foot Red. That's because it has half the carbon footprint of the brewery's traditional red beer, the Blood, Sweat and Red. As it turns out, that traditional beer generates a fair amount of carbon emissions.

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Weather and Climate
6:09 pm
Fri January 16, 2015

2014: Earth's Hottest Year On Record, Near Records In Northwest

After a warm summer and winter, last year was the second hottest on record for Oregon and the fifth hottest on record for Washington.
Credit Leveretdreaming / Flickr

2014 was the hottest year on record. That was according to data released Friday by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

In the Northwest, temperatures also rose above normal.

After a warm summer and winter, last year was the second hottest on record for Oregon and the fifth hottest on record for Washington.

The hottest year for both states is still 1934, when the Dust Bowl plagued the West.

Karin Bumbaco is the assistant state climatologist in Washington.

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Snowpack
5:21 pm
Fri January 9, 2015

Low Snowfall This Winter Offers A Preview Of Warmer Climate To Come

A stream near Mt. Rainier.
Credit Kevin Noone/Wiki Commons

A lack of snow in the Cascades this winter has forced Northwest ski teams to cancel their scheduled races – or move them to higher slopes. It's also generating concerns about climate change. 

So far, snowfall is about 70 percent below average. But it's not a lack of precipitation that's left mountain slopes so bare.  It's warm weather generating rain instead snow.

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Ashland Divestment
7:31 am
Wed October 22, 2014

Ashland City Council Passes Fossil Fuel Divestment Resolution

File photo of a truck at a Wyoming coal mine. Ashland has become the second Oregon city to formally come out against the investment of its dollars in coal and other fossil fuel industries.
Credit Katie Campbell

The city of Ashland passed a resolution Tuesday night supporting divestment from the fossil fuel industry. It joins Eugene as the only other Northwest city to take this kind of action to fight climate change.

The scope of the resolution is limited.

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Climate Change
5:27 pm
Tue September 23, 2014

CO2 Not To Blame For Climate Change In The Northwest?

The Oregon Coast in Woods, Oregon. A new study says that the change in wind patterns are causing warming temperatures.
Credit Patrick M / flickr

Changing wind patterns are to blame for warming temperatures in the Northwest, according to the study. Climatologist James Johnstone was the lead author, and he says, "Basically all of the warming in the Northeast Pacific ocean has been wind driven."

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The Wilderness Act
7:34 am
Wed September 3, 2014

Climate Change Creates Challenges For A Wilderness Pine Tree

A dying whitebark pine in Crater Lake National Park. The National Park Service is planning to plant disease-resistant varieties in its wilderness zones but the Forest Service says the Wilderness Act prevents it from doing so in its wilderness areas.
Credit Amelia Templeton

Scientists say whitebark pines are one of the Northwest’s most iconic and ecologically important trees — the majority of which are found in rugged wilderness.

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Wolverine Species Comeback
5:16 pm
Tue August 12, 2014

Feds Decide Wolverine Does Not Merit Threatened Species Status

The wolverine is not going on the threatened species list after all.
Credit Steve Kroschel / U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

The wolverine is not going on the threatened species list after all. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced today that federal protected status for the fierce and rare carnivore is unwarranted at this time.

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Wildfire Planning
6:29 am
Fri August 1, 2014

Study Says Poor Planning Contributes To Wildfire Costs

An Oregon Army National Guardsman looks for spot fires around the Government Flats Complex fire from a Blackhawk helicopter, near The Dalles, Aug. 21, 2013.
Credit Oregon Military Department

Wildfires in the West are getting bigger, hotter – and more costly. A new report from a national science advocacy group says climate change is one major reason wildfires are getting worse.

And short-sighted development policies are a big reason they’re costing more. Jefferson Public Radio’s Liam Moriarty explains.

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Washington Wildfire Costs
6:12 pm
Mon July 28, 2014

Washington Fires Cost $50 Million, More Costs Expected

Fighting this summer's wildfires in eastern Washington has already cost more than $50 million dollars.
Credit Josh O'Connor / Flickr

Fighting this summer's wildfires in eastern Washington has already cost more than $50 million. Washington state Governor Jay Inslee says we can expect even more expensive fires in the years ahead.

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