Washington state audience told glaciers, oysters show climate change impacts

BELLINGHAM - Northwest glaciers are shrinking and marine life is struggling as climate change makes itself felt on land and sea.

That was the message that more than 200 members of Bellingham City Club heard Wednesday, Nov. 20, from glacier scientist Michele Koppes and Taylor Shellfish Farms public policy manager Bill Dewey.

Koppes is assistant professor and Canada Research Chair in landscapes of climate change at the University of British Columbia. She told her audience that about one-sixth of the world's population gets at least some of its drinking water from glaciers and snowpack, which she called "frozen warehouses of fresh water."

That includes Bellingham and much of Whatcom County - anyone who gets water from the glacier-fed Nooksack River. But here and almost everywhere else in the world, the mountain snow accumulations that feed the glaciers are dwindling as average global temperatures creep upward.

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