Fourth National Climate Assessment Chapter 24: Northwest


May, C., C. Luce, J. Casola, M. Chang, J. Cuhaciyan, M. Dalton, S. Lowe, G. Morishima, P. Mote, A. Petersen, G. Roesch-McNally, and E. York, 2018. Northwest. In Impacts, Risks, and Adaptation in the United States: Fourth National Climate Assessment, Volume II [Reidmiller, D.R., C.W. Avery, D.R. Easterling, K.E. Kunkel, K.L.M. Lewis, T.K. Maycock, and B.C. Stewart (eds.)]. U.S. Global Change Research Program, Washington, DC, USA, pp. 1036–1100. doi: 10.7930/NCA4.2018.CH24


Residents of the Northwest list the inherent qualities of the natural environment among the top reasons to live in the region. The region is known for clean air, abundant water, low-cost hydroelectric power, vast forests, extensive farmlands, and outdoor recreation that includes hiking, boating, fishing, hunting, and skiing. Climate change, including gradual changes to the climate and in extreme climatic events, is already affecting these valued aspects of the region, including the natural resource sector, cultural identity and quality of life, built infrastructure systems, and the health of Northwest residents. The communities on the front lines of climate change—tribes and Indigenous peoples, those most dependent on natural resources for their livelihoods, and the economically disadvantaged—are experiencing the first, and often the worst, effects.