Fires

Boise could be climate-change refuge, scientists say

By Nicole Blanchard

nblanchard@idahostatesman.com

Smoke from the Pioneer Fire impacted many spots in southern Idaho. Massive wildfires like the Pioneer -- and the smoke they produce -- are among climate scientists’ concerns for our area.
Smoke from the Pioneer Fire impacted many spots in southern Idaho. Massive wildfires like the Pioneer -- and the smoke they produce -- are among climate scientists’ concerns for our area. Courtesy of Inciweb fire information

Boise may be a safe haven for those looking to escape the effects of climate change in the next 25 years, according to some scientists.

The New York Times talked to several climate experts who pointed out that the Treasure Valley is one of the West's better bets in terms of avoiding a rising heat index and its associated dangers.

“If somebody pointed a gun at me and said, ‘Boise or Denver, choose one on a climate-related basis,’ I would choose Boise,” David W. Titley, a professor of meteorology at Penn State University, told the Times. “That would be pretty easy.”

Still, experts shared concerns over wildfires in the region, as well as the fires' potential threat to air quality.

This isn't the first time the Boise area has been singled out as a potential climate safe haven. Idaho Statesman environment reporter Rocky Barker has suggested that our area could be a "Noah's Ark" for water and energy markets, as well.

The New York Times story also suggested New York City, San Francisco and several Great Lakes cities as potential climate refuges, among others.

Nicole Blanchard: (208) 377-6410; @NMBlanchard

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