Adaptation Planning

Preparing for Climate Change Impacts
While we must make concerted efforts to reduce GHG emissions, historic emissions have and will continue to impact the global climate. Flooding, heat waves, and extreme high tides are not new challenges in Seattle, and we have strategies for responding to them. However, climate change will shift the frequency, intensity, and timing of these events, and what we now consider an extreme event will become the new normal.

The most significant changes projected for the Pacific Northwest will be to temperature, precipitation, and sea level: 

  • Sea level - increase in base sea level and high tides
  • Temperature - increase in average temperatures, minimum temperatures, and the frequency & duration of extreme heat event
  • Mountain snowpack - reductions in snowpack and shifts in the timing of stream flow
  • Precipitation - little change in annual precipitation but wetter winters, drier summers, and more extreme precipitation events