State of Knowledge: Climate Change in Puget Sound


Mauger, G.S., J.H. Casola, H.A. Morgan, R.L. Strauch, B. Jones, B. Curry, T.M. Busch Isaksen, L. Whitely Binder, M.B. Krosby, and A.K. Snover. 2015. State of Knowledge: Climate Change in Puget Sound. Report prepared for the Puget Sound Partnership and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Climate Impacts Group, University of Washington, Seattle. doi:10.7915/CIG93777D


From the peaks of the Cascades and Olympics to the saltwater of the Sound, climate shapes the physical landscape of the Puget Sound region and where and how people, plants and animals inhabit that landscape. In addition to important natural variations, we know now that the Earth’s climate is changing, and expected to continue to change in ways that will alter our local environment, the nature and health of our ecosystems, and the risks and opportunities facing our communities.

This report summarizes the current state of knowledge concerning observed and likely future climate trends and their effects on the lands, waters and people of the Puget Sound region. It describes:

  • Changes in the key factors shaping our local environment: temperature, precipitation, sea level, ocean chemistry, and natural variability,
  • Implications for Puget Sound lands: freshwater resources, landslides, sediment transport, agriculture, and ecosystems,
  • Consequences for Puget Sound’s marine waters: coastal and marine ecosystems, water quality, and circulation,
  • Impacts on the region’s population: health, tribes, and infrastructure, and
  • Climate risk reduction activities underway in climate-sensitive sectors across the Puget Sound region.

State of Knowledge: Climate Change in Puget Sound is designed to be an easy-to-read summary that both complements and points to the foundational literature (peer-reviewed science, community and agency reports, and publicly available datasets) from which it draws.