Climate Change photo identifier

Climate Change

Climate Change: Disrupting our Economy, Environment and Communities

Warmer Temperatures in the Pacific Northwest

Milder winters, hotter summers - The warming climate is projected to cause changing weather patterns. For Washington State, this would cause more rain and less snow from October through March, the time of year when water demands are lowest.

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More Photos: Wildfires | Air quality | Cloud cover |
Decline in water supplies - Much of Washington's water supply is stored in snow pack and glaciers that melt into rivers. As this stored snow and ice recedes to higher elevations, less will be available to feed rivers.

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More Photos: Dry river beds | Reduced snowpack |
Changing growing seasons - With a warming climate, the growing season for some plants may be extended. However, this advantage can be erased if there is limited water to nourish forests and crops during hot weather.

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More human disease - Higher summer temperatures are likely to result in more smog in urban areas. Respiratory conditions are aggravated by smog.

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Salmon declines - Salmon and many other fish rely on timely, abundant, cold, clean water to spawn and rear young. Projected climate change would increase fall and winter flooding. Salmon rearing, migration and spawning will be negatively affected.

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More Photos: Salmon eggs |
Native plant & animal populations decline - Shifting climate allows invasive plants, animals and insects to move into new, warmer territories.

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Wetlands decline - As the effects of global warming become more apparent, the value of—and the threat to—our wetlands increase.

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More Photos: Nisqually Delta | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |

More pests in forests & crops - With warmer winters, pest populations can reproduce longer with less winter die-offs—so pest populations can boom.

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< Photo: Bark Beetle infested forest