The Effects Of Global Warming In The Pacific Northwest

1138 words - 5 pages

Global warming is the gradual increase in global temperatures caused by the emission of gases that trap the sun's heat in the Earth's atmosphere. Gases that contribute to global warming include carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), and halocarbons (the replacements for CFCs). The Earth has warmed by 1.1º F and the Pacific Northwest by 1.5º F within the last 100 years.1 Global warming will have severe repercussions on the Pacific Northwest, perhaps worse than other places. Some of the major objects that global warming will affect will be the availability of water, fish populations, forests, the coastline, beer, the economy, agriculture, and human ...view middle of the document...

It is predicted that by 2090 the rivers in the Pacific Northwest region will heat up anywhere from 2.2º to 4.9º F2. For Coho salmon, a species of significant cultural and economic value in the Pacific Northwest, this could mean a habitat loss of 23 to 41 percent2. Lower river levels during summer and fall will also make it much harder for fish to migrate upstream. The species In the Pacific Northwest that would be affected worse would be salmon, trout, and steelhead.The Pacific Northwest is a densely forested region, and forests are a very important part of the economy, ecology, and way of life. The air temperature of the Pacific Northwest is predicted to increase anywhere between 2° and 9°F during the next century3. Most commercially valuable trees which flourish in the Pacific Northwest live only in a very specific climate range, and the increase of air temperature could shove them out of their homeostatic range. The Pacific Northwest would see a gradual shift away from valuable Douglas firs to lower yield and lower value pines.As the earth warms, the Arctic and Antarctic ice will melt. This will cause a substantial rise in the water level in the Pacific Northwest. The ocean level could rise anywhere from 40 to 100 centimeters in the next century alone4. Most of the Pacific Northwest coast is protected from flooding and erosion in the immediate future due to the fact that most of our coast line is very steep and cliffy. However some of our most important trading cities are on harbors and would most certainly be underwater, these would include; Gold Beach, Newport, Florence, Tillamook, and Astoria. Another major effect of a rise in sea level would be the contamination of our drinking water with sea water. Our costal estuaries may also be damaged. These are home to some very unique and endangered species.Hops plants only grow within a very small area consisting of three Pacific Northwest states; Oregon, Idaho, and Washington. Global warming will increases the amount of moisture that the Pacific Northwest will receive in the fall; this will cause the stems of the hops plants to collapse which makes it very inefficient to harvest. Moisture will...

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