Montana climate report lead author speaks in Billings

Posted at 8:14 AM, May 25, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-25 10:14:47-04

BILLINGS – The lead author of last fall’s Montana Climate Assessment discussed the often touchy subject of her report Thursday night in Billings.

Dr. Cathy Whitlock, an earth sciences professor at Montana State University, says the report is unique with stakeholders helping to determine what went into the more than 300 pages.

The report gives information on the effects of climate on water, forests and agriculture. Whitlock said it’s important to think about what will happen if Montana gets warmer, adding that warmer temperatures would bring challenges and opportunity.

"As Montana gets warmer, there’s going to be opportunities to grow new crops for different kinds of livelihoods for sure,” Whitlock said. “So it’s not all dire. But there’s also going to be challenges, especially for people who are isolated and in remote locations. I think we need to not forget about them."

Whitlock said the group is looking into writing another climate assessment report, on fires and human health.