By Elizabeth Zach, RCAC staff writer

A recent Washington State University study relying on climate modeling demonstrates that the Olympic Peninsula and Cascade Mountain Range areas will be increasingly vulnerable to landslides in the next three decades.

The study, which appears in the journal Engineering Geology, is the first to examine climate change and landslides in the Pacific Northwest, and to predict increasing landslides in the area.

“Logged landscapes become more susceptible to landslide activity under climate change,” said Jennifer Adam, an associate professor of civil and environmental engineering and associate director of the State of Washington Water Research Center.

The study, according to lead author Muhammad Barik, “is telling people, if you are cutting trees on this slope, it might be OK today. But in the future, it might not be, so plan according to that. If you do logging in this area without considering future projections, it might become susceptible to landslides.”

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