Understanding How Climate Change Affects Salem

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Climate change is a global issue with local impacts.  To help us prepare for the possible effects of climate change here locally, we're asking you to share your ideas on how we can work together to prepare, adapt, and build resilience.

What have we learned?

We recently completed an assessment of how we may be vulnerable due to anticipated climate change. 

As temperatures warm, more people experience heat-related illnesses, especially for those who:

  • work outside (e.g., farmworkers, construction workers, and field staff),
  • are elderly or medically fragile, or
  • are unsheltered.  

This is especially true as days with temperatures of 90°F or higher are expected to increase by 26 days, from 7 days  in the 1990s to 33 days  in the 2050s.

Without changes, we will see increased need for shelters during heat, cold, or air quality events.  While growing season is lengthening, fewer chilling hours may have negative effects on some crops.

We'll see more risk of wildfires.  Hotter and drier conditions may cause more frequent droughts, placing more strain on water resources. Residents could experience water cutbacks or water quality issues.  With less predictability, we may see more people affected by flooding in areas outside the high-risk zone. We can also expect nine more extreme wildfire danger days by the 2050s and related hazardous air quality. 

What Happens Next?

  • Share your ideas for change.  Today through February 28, you can share your ideas for how we can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and work together to ease the effects of climate change.  We need a broad range of actions by the City, residents, businesses, and other organizations.  This could include strategies like increasing renewable energy, reducing emissions from transportation, increasing energy efficiency, and reducing food waste. We are also looking for ideas for increasing Salem's climate resilience and addressing our climate risks. This could include new building construction policies that help protect residents from extreme weather events, natural disaster displacement protections for vulnerable community members, and expansion of community emergency preparedness programs.

  • Follow the Climate Action Plan process.  You can register to get notices of upcoming events and watch the next Task Force workshop on February 17, 2021.  At their next meeting, the Task Force will review and discuss strategies for achieving our goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and becoming a carbon neutral city. .

What is the Climate Action Plan?

The City, working with a Task Force of community stakeholders, is developing a plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change.  The Climate Action Plan will outline strategies and actions Salem can take to reduce emissions and create a thriving, resilient community for decades to come. For more on what's been accomplished so far, check out our Climate Action Plan website.

 

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Salem OR 97301
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