Portland faces extreme weather as a result of climate change



Recent extreme winter weather storms have been out of season and unlike weather we are used to. As of late Portland’s weather has been much more extreme.

Climate change has been an issue that has recently gained significant traction among students across the country. In recent years we can see apparent impacts on our local communities.

Portland weather has changed significantly with scientific evidence backing it up, explains Lincoln senior and environmental justice club member Chloe Gilmore.

“Oregon’s climate is generally becoming hotter and drier. Its average temperature has increased over 2.2 ℉ in the past 100 years, and that number is only expected to increased by 8.2 ℉ by 2080,” said Gilmore. “We are also seeing increasingly unpredictable weather patterns like heat waves, snow storms, and rain during times of the year when they would not historically occur.”

According to the website of the Oregon Department of Energy, Oregon is facing unprecedented droughts.

“Nearly all of Oregon is in a multi-year drought, and southern and eastern parts of the state are experiencing a megadrought that may be the most severe in 1,400 years. Under current emissions trends, seasonal droughts are projected to last 11 to 33 percent longer and be at least 40 percent more severe by the end of the century,” wrote the Oregon Department of Energy on their website.

Gilmore says environmental activists face hurdles, including a distracted and inattentive population, but she is still hopeful.

“Within the Portland area, a lot of environmental activists have felt burnt out, […] especially youth. I also saw the pandemic lead to a loss of momentum in climate justice organizations because organizers could not physically meet with each other or interact with the community,” said Gilmore. “However, I am optimistic because I see more interested students getting connected with resources to join climate justice organizations.”

Gilmore believes that concerned students should help rally our policy makers.

“In order to address the changing weather patterns, we need to recognize that this is a result of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. In terms of policymakers on both the state and city level, it is crucial that they pass legislation to mitigate climate change supporting a total divestment from fossil fuels,” said Gilmore.

Lincoln High School Sophomore James Rhen explains that he feels there is a lack of education around climate change and feels that we need more mandatory lessons.

“I feel that people need to be more aware of what is happening with our climate,” said Rhen.