• WSU study links climate change to potential for landslides in Western Washington

    By: KIRO 7 News Staff


    A new study links climate change directly with the potential for new landslides in Western Washington.

    Researchers at Washington State University say heavily harvested lands are vulnerable in the face of climate change.

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    The report looks at land along the Olympic Peninsula and the Cascade Mountain range.

    It found that by the year 2045, there could be more than a 10 percent chance for increased landslides, especially in logged lands.

    Soils in such areas may not be strong enough to withstand major storms that come with climate change. 

    The study says most vulnerable areas are in elevations of over 1,600 feet with 40 or more degree slopes.

    They say the study should be both a warning and a tool in managing local landscapes, and hopefully preventing a future disaster, such as the Oso landslide.

    Researchers say they want their findings to be a roadmap forward, especially when it comes to land management.

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