By Glenn Ahrens, OSU Forestry and Natural Resources Extension Agent – Clackamas, Marion, & Hood River Counties
As a forester, I need a basic understanding of local climate to guide site-specific decisions –decisions like what species to grow and how many trees per acre to plant. With all the ongoing studies of climate change, I have been looking for practical information relevant to climate and trends affecting forests in Oregon. At an Extension Forestry conference in 2006 in Fairbanks, Alaska, I learned that increased temperatures over recent decades in Alaska had noticeably extended the growing season, melted permafrost, and exacerbated recent forest fires. This stimulated me to learn more about climate science related to my location in Oregon, where I had not really noticed any warming trends amidst the year to year variation in the weather.
How has the climate changed in Oregon? What are anticipated future changes? How might this affect forest management decisions? Continue reading