Research Suggests Winds Mean Climate Change
for Oregon Coast
|Newport's economy also runs on its fishing fleet, which
can be impacted by the dead zone.
(Santa Cruz, California) - Climate change may have a variety
of impacts on wind strength along the west coast, and in turn affect other
climate aspects of that region, say scientists.
Researchers at the Climate Change and Impacts Laboratory
at the University of California, Santa Cruz, recently released documents
that say future increases in wind strength in these areas may have far-reaching
effects, including more intense upwelling of cold water along the Oregon
coast early in the season and increased fire danger in Southern California.
Earth scientist Mark Snyder presented the findings last
week at a conference of American Geophysical Union (AGU) in San Francisco.
It all points to some bigger weather extremes, an increased frequency
in large wind events along the Oregon coast and an effect on the infamous
"dead zone" that's been occurring along the central coast.
|A stormy, windy Manzanita.
Snyder's group studied the possible climate changes coming
to the west coast of the U.S. because of global warming and how it drives
increased concentrations of greenhouse gasses. The regional climate model
they used suggested a general increase in wind speeds along the coast
is likely to accompany regional changes in the area.
"What we think is going on is that land temperatures
are increasing at a faster rate than the ocean temperatures, and this
thermal gradient between the land and the ocean is driving increased winds,"
Snyder said in a press release.
The researchers conducted multiple runs of their regional
model to compare simulations of the coastal climate for two time periods:
1968 to 2000 ("modern climate") and 2038 to 2070 ("future
climate"). The regional model was driven by input from the global
climate models used in the most recent report of the Intergovernmental
Panel on Climate Change (IPCC AR4). The future climate projections were
based on a "high-growth" emissions scenario (A2) thought to
provide an upper range of possible future climates, although Snyder noted
that recent global carbon dioxide emissions have exceeded even the highest
projections of earlier IPCC reports.
|Wind events affect storm and storm surges,
which eroded part of a highway cliff in Newport in 2007 (photo Guy
The results showed increases in wind speeds of up to 2
meters per second, which is a large change in relation to current average
wind speeds of about 5 meters per second, Snyder said. One effect of these
increased winds may be earlier and more intense upwelling of cold water
along the coast.
While upwelling is a positive dynamic in the world’s
oceans, bringing lots of rich nutrients upward by pulling deeper water
higher in the marine ecosystem, it seems to be veering out of control
along the Oregon coast. Researchers at OSU think too much upwelling may
be causing the massive "dead zone" that has begun to appear
with alarming regularity off the Oregon coast. This is being driven by
stronger, more persistent winds, and then stimulating excessive growth
of the microscopic algae known as phytoplankton. Those begin choking the
ocean’s ecosystem as they sink to the bottom, decompose in huge
numbers and suck the oxygen out of the water.
The effect can be devastating to local fish and crab populations.
|Storm debris at a Cannon Beach beach access.
Snyder said these conditions may become more prevalent
in the future, and stronger winds all along the coast may cause the Oregon
dead zone to expand into California waters.
Strong winds can also create extremely hazardous fire conditions,
as was seen this fall in Southern California – or last year's mega-storm
On the positive side, strong winds would be good for the
growing wind energy industry. Snyder also noted that an enhanced sea breeze
during the warm months of the year has a cooling effect along the coast.
Such a cooling trend could have many ramifications, particularly for coastal
species adapted to seasonal changes in temperatures and fog, he said.
Snyder's coauthors are graduate student Travis O'Brien
and Lisa Sloan, professor of Earth and planetary sciences and director
of the Climate Change and Impacts Lab.
Rockaway Beach. All rooms are immaculate and have TV’s, VCR’s
and in-room phones w/ data ports. Oceanfronts have queen bed, a
double hide-a-bed, kitchen, cozy firelog fireplace and private deck.
Both types sleep up to four people. Others are appointed for a two-person
romantic getaway, yet still perfect for those on a budget. Elaborate
oceanfront Jacuzzi suite has two bedrooms, kitchen, double hide-a-bed,
fireplace and private deck, sleeping as many as six. For family
reunions or large gatherings such as weddings, some rooms can connect
to create two-room and three-room suites. Some rooms pet friendly.
523 N. Pacific St., Rockaway Beach. (503) 355-2112 - 1-800-824-0938.
at Cannon Beach. Beautifully wooded natural setting at quiet south
end of Cannon Beach. Great during winter storms with a new book by
the fireplace – or when the sun is out for family fun and beach
strolling. Handsome beach cottage-style architecture. Lush flowering
gardens and naturalized courtyard pond. Warm, inviting guest rooms.
Continental buffet breakfast. Warm Cookies. Family and Pet Friendly.
Welcome gifts. Smoke-free. Complimentary Wireless Connectivity. Wine
and book signing events. 800-321-6304 or 503-436-9085. Hemlock At
Surfcrest, Cannon Beach, Oregon. www.atcannonbeach.com.
Ocean Lodge. There will not be another property built
like this in Cannon Beach in our lifetimes. Rare, premiere ocean
front location; handsome, dramatic architecture and tasteful, fun
(nostalgic) beach interiors. Overlooks Haystack Rock. 100 percent
smoke free. Imaginative special occasion packages. Massive wood
burning lobby fireplace. Library w/ fireplace, stocked with impressive
book collection. Pet and family friendly. Lavish continental buffet
breakfast. In-room fireplaces, mini-kitchens. Jacuzzi tubs in select
rooms. DVD players, complimentary movies. Morning paper. Warm cookies.
888-777-4047. 503-436-2241. 2864 Pacific Street. Cannon Beach, Oregon.
Cape Property Services.
Dozens of homes in that dreamy,
rugged stretch between Cannon Beach and Manzanita known as Arch
Cape. Oceanfront and ocean view , or just a short walk from the
All homes are immaculate and smoke free; some pet friendly (with
a fee). Some with broadband, indoor or outdoor hot tubs, fireplaces,
decks, and fire pits or barbecues. Call about tempting winter specials
that go until March (not valid holidays, however). www.archcaperentals.com
Oregon Coast News Stories of the Year What
an interesting time 2008 was
Transformations of Oregon Coast Beaches Seasons change
and so do beaches, revealing different sides and a variety of eye-popping
Cool Ideas for Oregon Coast Romance Be it the season
of Valentine's or be it any time of the year, Oregon's coastline has
essentially cornered the market for cuddle-inducing possibilities and
gushy activities for the hand-holding set
or Night Mysteries and Merriment on Oregon Coast It's
more than just nightlife that comes to life, but the beaches offer major
Coast Travel Site Goes Wireless Provides Lodging Reports
- Oregon Coast Beach Connection now has mobile lodging and dining listings,
along with weekly lodging availability reports
coast mileage chart & map
trips, suggested itineraries
for Oregon Coast Subjects, Articles
Coast Real Estate
Things to Do
Coast Complete Guides every beach access,
TAKE THE VIRTUAL TOUR
Where the Columbia meets the Pacific,
Land of Lewis & Clark and loads of atmosphere & history
The Promenade, Tillamook Head, family
fun & broad, sandy beaches
A mysterious lighthouse, upscale
yet earthy, a huge monolith, fine eateries & an art mecca
Manzanita's beaches, Nehalem and
Wheeler's quirky beauty; laid back Rockaway
Garibaldi, Barview, Bay City, Tillamook
& an oceanfront ghost town
The hidden secret of the coast: Cape
Meares, a lighthouse, Oceanside, Netarts and Pacific City
A spouting horn downtown, freaky hidden
cliffs and whales, whales, whales
Time-tripping Nye Beach, a bustling
bayfront, marine science-central and two lighthouses
Constantly dramatic wave action, a mix of the rugged &
A lighthouse, ancient bayfront and miles and miles of fluffy
/ ADVERTISE ON BEACH CONNECTION