Letters to the Editor

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CLIMATE: Northwest temperatures are trending downward

Letter by Ken A. Schlichte, Tumwater on Feb. 4, 2011 at 1:29 pm | 48 Comments »
February 4, 2011 1:29 pm

Washington Ecology Director Ted Sturdevant just signed an agreement with officials from British Columbia to try to limit climate change and has suggested that our diseased Northwest forests are a climate-related problem.

Professional forestry education and experience, however, has taught me and many other professional foresters that the forest health problems in our interior Northwest forests have been increasing since the middle of the 20th century, primarily because of the thick, overstocked and unhealthy forest stand conditions that have continued to develop because of our effective wildfire control practices and limited forest-management thinning activities.

The Washington and British Columbia officials who signed this agreement to limit climate change should be very pleased when they learn that the NOAA National Climatic Data Center has recently released data indicating that annual temperatures in the Northwest have actually been trending downward slightly at a rate of 0.15 degrees F per decade during the 25 years from 1986 to 2010.

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