By KATIE SCHMIDT
SPECIAL TO SEATTLEPI.COM
"Have you ever wondered what exactly global warming is likely to mean for those of us living in the Pacific Northwest? Well, thanks to a handful of local universities and $3.4 million from the U.S. Department of the Interior, you're about to find out. In an arrangement that could mean many more millions of dollars in research funding in years to come, the University of Washington, Oregon State University, the University of Idaho and the U.S. Geological Service are to work together to establish the Northwest Regional Climate Science Center, one of eight planned centers throughout the country meant to identify and fund practical global warming research that can be used to better manage natural resources. "In the big picture, this is a huge deal," said Alan Hamlet a researcher from the UW Climate Impacts Group who helped write the proposal for the Seattle university's involvement with the center. "It's an extremely comprehensive effort from a large department to provide climate research support across the country. Any time something of this size takes place, it's an acknowledgement of how great the needs are."...."