Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Global Warming Cuts Salmon Habitat

Associated Press,

Global warming is likely to greatly increase spending on fighting wildfires and greatly reduce salmon habitat in the Northwest, two new reports suggest.

The University of Oregon's Institute for a Sustainable Environment projects that an average wildfire year for Oregon in the 2020s will see 50 percent more acres of forest burned than during the 20th century. By the 2040s the increase will be 100 percent.

Thinning forests may reduce the severity of wildfires, but not the frequency, and annual state spending to fight wildfires is likely to increase from the current range of $40 million to $64 million to, in inflation-adjusted dollars, $60 million to $96 million in the 2020s and $80 million to $128 million in the 2040s, the report said.