Understanding the Impact of Climate Change on Local Ecosystems in Boise, Idaho

Climate change is a major concern that has been gaining more attention in recent years. The scientific community generally agrees that the increase in the concentration of greenhouse gases in the Earth's atmosphere is causing unprecedented changes. In Boise, Idaho, environmental organizations are conducting research projects to better understand how climate change is impacting local ecosystems. The Rocky Mountain Research Station is at the forefront of science to improve the health and use of forests and rangelands.

To assess the impacts of Idaho's climate economy, sector-specific information and resources are being used to help business leaders and policy makers plan for a productive and resilient Idaho economy. In order to prevent worsening impacts from climate change in the future, Idahoans are taking steps that will benefit their health, well-being, and economic vitality today. For instance, 87% of voters in North Idaho support increasing the use of prescribed fire as a solution to catastrophic wildfires. The City of Trees Challenge is also aiming to plant 235,000 seedlings in the forests of Idaho.

Clara is conducting research on the conservation of desert ecosystems and rare and endemic plants, with a focus on Astragalus mulfordiae in southwestern Idaho. Most models predict a decrease in rainfall in summer, reaching a 14 percent decrease in the Pacific Northwest by the 2080s. Climate models also take into account uncertainty when managing fish and wildlife populations for future conditions. In Oregon, sea levels will rise in some parts while other areas will be offset by an upward change in land elevation over this period of time. Climate factors will force changes in a series of landscape conditions that will directly affect the habitats of aquatic and terrestrial species.

Changes in air temperature can also affect snow accumulations and hydrological regimes in autumn and winter. The real climate risks include rising average temperatures (daily, monthly, seasonal, annual), changes in precipitation patterns and hydrology, and changes in ocean chemistry and water levels. It is essential for environmental organizations to continue researching these impacts so that they can be better prepared for future climate conditions.

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