Thursday, February 22, 2007
Climate Change on Columbia Basin Treaty-tribal lands: Past-present-future
Trends in climate (i.e., temperature and precipitation) and streamflow are summarized for the last 100 years for select sub-basins co-managed by the Columbia Basin Treaty Tribes (Warm Springs, Umatilla, Nez Perce, and Yakama)—the Deschutes, John Day, Umatilla, and Imnaha Basins of Oregon; Clearwater and Salmon Basins of Idaho; Walla Walla, White Salmon, Wenatchee, Methow, and Okanogan Basins of Washington. Timing of the freshet (i.e., spring snow-melt sequence) has moved to 1-17 days earlier in the last 100 years. The spring-summer volume of runoff of the sub-basins has shifted to autumn-winter by 3-26%. Implications for managing tribal salmon and water resources will be discussed. What about long-term climate change? Mr. Dittmer just returned from Copenhagen, Denmark, after an interview with government climate researchers. He will share insights from the Danish scientists on the direction of our 21 st century climate in the northern Hemisphere, the fate of Greenland, and the possibility of abrupt climate change.
Kyle Dittmer is a Hydrologist-Meteorologist for the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission and part-time instructor at Portland Community College. Kyle has also earned an adjunct Science professorship at Marylhurst University and is President of the Oregon Chapter of the American Meteorological Society.