Climate Change

Climate change and habitat loss are threatening approximately one million species across the globe, and causing unprecedented threats to the survival of the ecosystems that support life on our planet. Dire warnings about the global climate crisis have been issues by scientists and experts. Recent reports include:

  • The 2019 UN-backed report from the Independent Panel on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services. This report warns that approximately one million species are at risk of extinction from human-caused pressures such as climate change, habitat loss, deforestation, pollution, overfishing, and invasive species. You can see the summary of this report here.
  • The 2018 IPCC Special Report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels and related global greenhouse gas emission pathways, in the context of strengthening the global response to the threat of climate change, sustainable development, and efforts to eradicate poverty. You can access the report by clicking here. The report provides a comprehensive overview of threats to humanity and earth’s life support systems due to climate change, and examines threat levels based on 1.5°C vs. 2°C temperature increase. The report urges immediate, comprehensive actions in order to stay below 2°C.
  • Logging is the largest source of carbon emissions in Oregon. A recent OSU study (published in 2018) confirms research done by the Center for Sustainable Economy that logging outstrips other sources of carbon emissions in Oregon. This High Country News article about the study provides clear and in-depth explanations of the issue.

Another very informative report specific to the Columbia Basin is the 2007 Independent Scientific Advisory Review Board report on Climate Change Impacts on Columbia River Basin Fish and Wildlife, which you can read here. This report provides an overview of climate change-related impacts to ecosystems and species in eastern Oregon and the Columbia River Basin at large, and includes issues such as the likely extreme habitat loss for Bull trout, steelhead, and salmon.

We at Blue Mountains Biodiversity Project are alarmed at what we see on the ground during our field survey work in terms of habitat loss from the combined effects of climate change, logging, roads, and livestock grazing. We’ve created a slideshow which summarizes some of the issues. We’ve also posted more in-depth reviews of literature on the threats to forests and streams from climate change, logging under the guise of ‘fuel reduction’, and other issues such as excessive road densities

BMBP works to stop the degradation or destruction of high-quality wildlife habitats, preserve core habitats and connectivity corridors, and combat climate change. Please join us by volunteering with BMBP, or donating to support our work. Thank you!