Climate Change In The Gem State


By Jay Michaels

For decades now - people have been using computer programs to try to predict what will happen in the future.
Idaho's three universities will be teaming up to determine how climate change could affect the gem state.
Boise State University - the University of Idaho - and Idaho State University will take part in a five year study on climate change.
They'll team up with a group from the University of Washington - which has been studying climate change for about 20 years.
Rick Allen says, “One of the impacts here in Idaho is that we'll probably see less snow pack and probably more liquid precipitation. Along with that, we'll probably see warmer springs and a quicker snowmelt in the future.”
The University of Idaho will study how climate change could affect water supplies in the western u-s.
Boise State will examine the economic impact of a warmer climate - and Idaho State University researchers will take a look at hydro-ecology.
Allen says, “Pretty much throughout the northwest and Idaho, including the South Hills area, we're seeing between a 30 and 40 percent decrease in snow pack on April 1.”
Allen says hard scientific data shows that average annual temperatures went up by two degrees Fahrenheit in the 80 years between 1920 and 2000.
But in contrast - he says that some computer models predicted 60 percent more precipitation - than actually fell during the 20-th century.
Allen says, “With climate change, we'll probably see more fires, 'cause it'll be drier in the summer, higher temperature. More forest fires, with forest fires comes more flooding, with rain on ash.”

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