As wildfires continue to rage across Montana, scientists are quietly finishing work on their first-ever assessment of the state’s climate – and how it is changing.
The sneak preview: Look outside your front window, state climatologist Kelsey Jensco advises.
“This is certainly what the future may look like,” he told Montana Public Radio in a recent interview.
“Extreme fires, flash droughts, and melting snowpack are all predicted in the state’s first ever climate assessment, which is slated for release on September 20,” MTPR reported.
Montana’s climate report, which won’t be publicly available until its release date, is the culmination of a two-year project involving state and federal agencies, nonprofit organizations, state universities and tribal colleges.
“Essentially we’ve used global climate models and then we’ve down-scaled those to the levels of seven regions within the state,” Jensco said.
“Montana is in for some big changes, some of which have already happened,” MTPR reported. “The state’s growing season, for example, is nearly two weeks longer than it was back in the 1950s. Seasonal temperatures are rising faster than the national average and Jencso says it’s getting hotter, more quickly, when winter turns into spring.”
Read the rest of this timely public radio interview here, then stay tuned for September’s release. We’ll report back with the full document then.