News & Events

CLIMATE CHANGE AND POSSIBLE IMPACTS IN THE SAN JUAN ISLANDS

January 29, 2008 

Orcas Island Marine Science Lecture Series with Lara Whitely Binder

On Tuesday, February 12, 2008, at 7:00 p.m., Lara Whitely Binder will discuss the potential impacts of climate change on the Puget Sound and San Juan Islands regions. Binder, an outreach specialist at the University of Washington’s Climate Impacts Group, is an expert on the impacts of climate variability and climate change on the Pacific Northwest.

Among the thousands of scientists who study global warming, there is no disagreement that greenhouse gases heat the planet and that continued warming of our climate is virtually locked into the global system far into the future. How exactly the San Juan Islands will change in response to planetary heating, however, is not so certain.

Climate models project a warming rate in the Pacific Northwest of roughly 0.2-1.0° F per decade at least until 2050, with average warming of 1.8° F by the 2020s and 3.0° F by the 2040s. This warming is expected to decrease snow pack and change the way fresh water moves into the Puget Sound.

"Changes in snow pack are just one of the impacts we’ll see; marine water will warm, circulation of sea and salt water will be altered, sea level will rise, and I’m sure we’ll see unexpected changes too," says Joe Gaydos, Regional Director of the SeaDoc Society. "All of these changes will impact the marine plants and animals of Puget Sound as well as people like us who live here." Tuesday night’s talk will be an opportunity for the public to learn about changes they can expect to see in their own backyard and hear what they can do to mitigate them.

This is the fifth lecture of the 2007-2008 season in Orcas Island’s marine science lecture series designed for the general public. The program begins at 7:00 PM at the Camp Orkila Marine Salmon Center and is free. Please park in the upper parking lot at Camp Orkila. Shuttle service from the parking lot to the talk is available before and after the lecture.


The 2007-2008 Marine Science Lecture Series is presented by program partners The SeaDoc Society <http://www.seadocsociety.org/>  and YMCA Camp Orkila (www.seattleymca.org). It has been made possible through the generous support of Tom Averna / Deer Harbor Charters, Barbara Brown, The Gould Family Foundation and David and Virginia Ridgway. Future lecture dates are March 11 (Oiled Wildlife Care) and April 8 (Flippers for Feet: Pinnipeds of the Pacific Northwest).