Confronting climate change: how does a changing climate affect our region?
Changes are already affecting our environment, economy and human health. The choices we make today about reducing greenhouse gases will affect the severity of future impacts.
Average annual air temperature in the Puget Sound region is increasing (+1.3F, 1895-2014), and is projected to be 5.5F warmer in the 2050s.
Public health impacts due to heat
- More illnesses
- Mor hospitalizations and deaths
Increased wildfire threat
Four-fold increase in annual area burned projected for Washington's forests by the 2040's.
Average Cascade snowpack down 25% from 1950s to 2006, projected decrease of 55% in the 2080s.
Heavy rain events are increasing
By the 2080s, our heaviest rain events are expected to be 22% heavier.
Extreme river conditions
- Summer - lower flows, warmer water
- Winter - higher flows, flooding
Rising sea level - Seattle sea level rise
- 1899-2016 - 9 inches increase
- by 2100 - 24 inches increase
More coastal flooding
Increased costs to shellfish growers due to ocean acidification.