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Key Messages

1. Changes in the timing of streamflow related to changing snowmelt are already observed and will continue, reducing the supply of water for many competing demands and causing far-reaching ecological and socioeconomic consequences.

2. In the coastal zone, the effects of sea level rise, erosion, inundation, threats to infrastructure and habitat, and increasing ocean acidity collectively pose a major threat to the region.

3. The combined impacts of increasing wildfire, insect outbreaks, and tree diseases are already causing widespread tree die-off and are virtually certain to cause additional forest mortality by the 2040s and long-term transformation of forest landscapes. Under higher emissions scenarios, extensive conversion of subalpine forests to other forest types is projected by the 2080s.

4. While the agriculture sector’s technical ability to adapt to changing conditions can offset some adverse impacts of a changing climate, there remain critical concerns for agriculture with respect to costs of adaptation, development of more climate resilient technologies and management, and availability and timing of water.

Study Area

Publication type Book chapter
Publication Subtype Book Chapter
Title Northwest
Chapter 21
Year Published 2014
Language English
Publisher U.S. Global Change Research Program
Contributing office(s) Alaska Climate Science Center, Alaska Climate Adaptation Science Center
Description 27 p.
Larger Work Type Report
Larger Work Subtype Federal Government Series
Larger Work Title National Climate Assessment
First page 487
Last page 513
Country United States
State Idaho, Oregon, Washington
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details