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A warming climate could cost Washington governments and businesses
tens of millions of dollars every year in drought-stricken crops, forest
fires and tightened water supplies, according to a new state study.
It is the first such analysis illuminating how rising temperatures and
shifting snow patterns could ripple through the economy.
Yakima Valley farmers could experience more crop losses as snow-
Forest fires could double in size, driving up the costs of fighting them
and hurting tourism.
Dairies in Whatcom County might produce less milk. Cities, including
Seattle, could spend millions more on water conservation or expand
their water-storage dams.
More than 50 square miles of Washington land could wind up under-
water if sea levels rise two feet.
"The impacts we found are significant," said Bob Doppelt, director of
the University of Oregon's Climate Leadership Initiative, which led
the study. "But we also think they're manageable."
The $100,000 study was funded by public money and a grant from
the Energy Foundation, a coalition of groups interested in environ-
The research was overseen by a panel of scientists and state officials.