By Glenn Ahrens, OSU Forestry and Natural Resources Extension Agent – Clackamas, Marion, & Hood River Counties
Dying Douglas-fir trees have been a common sight in western Oregon in recent years due to drought-related problems, exacerbated by diseases and insects that attack stressed trees. History shows that periodic drought is to be expected in western Oregon and Douglas-fir forests are adapted to summer heat and drought to some extent. But extreme drought causes tree morality and raises concerns. In the news about climate change, there is a lot of talk about higher levels of heat and drought being the “new normal”. Is the recent drought “normal” or “abnormal” for western Oregon? Either way, how can we manage our forests to improve their resilience – their ability to withstand climatic extremes? Continue reading →
By Jason O’Brien, OSU Forestry and Natural Resources Extension – Oregon Master Naturalist Program Coordinator
The media is buzzing with reports about fire, drought and extreme heat. And climate change is often attached to these stories. But does climate science explain how today’s extreme weather relates, if at all, to global climate change? This article will highlight some of these relationships.
First, let’s review definitions of weather, climate and climate change. Weather is the state of the atmosphere at a place and time that determines if it is hot, dry, sunny, rainy, windy, etc. Climate is the average weather condition (e.g. average temperature) over time. Climate change is a change in the typical or average weather of a region or city. This could be a change in a region’s average annual rainfall, for example, or a change in a city’s average temperature for a given month or season. Under normal conditions, a range of weather conditions that deviate from averages (e.g. severe, extreme storms) can exist. Such extremes are not necessarily related to climate change.
By Max Bennett, OSU Forestry & Natural Resources Extension Agent – Jackson & Josephine Counties
The term “climate variability” gets used a lot, but what does it mean? And how does climate variability relate to “climate trends” and “climate change”?
In this article we’ll look at climate variability and trends through the lens of long term snowfall at Crater Lake National Park, as well as precipitation and drought patterns in Medford, Oregon. As a forester working in southern Oregon, I’m very interested in rainfall, drought and snowpack, which influence things like fire danger, forest health, and stream flows. Continue reading →
By Amy Grotta, OSU Forestry & Natural Resources Extension Agent – Columbia, Washington & Yamhill Counties
In this series, our goal is to discuss how woodland owners and managers might want to think about the management decisions we make in light of anticipated climate change. To do that, we need to understand what’s potentially in store. What are the future climate projections for our region, and how do they differ from what we are accustomed to? What is the relationship between climate and weather? That’s what this article aims to address. Future articles will dive into how these changes might affect our forests, and how we can respond. Continue reading →
By Janean Creighton, Oregon State University, Forestry & Natural Resources Extension
Climate change is predicted to accelerate through the 21st century, leading to changes in forest species distribution, productivity, and disturbance regimes¹. These changes may have profound impacts on the public and private benefits from forests; as well as managers’ strategies to sustain these benefits into the future. As our understanding about potential climate change impacts on western U.S. forests improves, land managers are developing adaptation strategies to meet these challenges.
How do forest managers perceive climate change impacts, and how is this reflected in their forest management strategies? To get a land manager’s perspective, I interviewed Sara Lipow, Forest Geneticist for Roseburg Forest Products. Continue reading →