During the 20th century the Pacific Northwest warmed by 0.7 degrees Celsius (1.3 degrees Fahrenheit), according to CIRC research. That warming has continued in recent years and is expected to continue throughout the 21st century, bringing a series of cascading effects to our landscapes, producing impacts as varied as winter flooding and raging wildfires. The growing season expanded and the coldest night of the year warmed dramatically, especially east of the Cascades, according to our research.
- By the year 2100, the Pacific Northwest could be anywhere from 1 to 8 degrees Celsius (2–15 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer than it was during the second half of the 20th century, according to our NOAA RISA team’s analysis.
- The increase in temperature was a clear trend across all climate simulations used in our analysis, meaning we can say with a high degree of certainty, or confidence, that the Pacific Northwest will continue to warm under climate change adapted).
Projected annual temperature simulations for the Pacific Northwest to the year 2100
- Abatzoglou, John T., David E. Rupp, and Philip W. Mote. “Seasonal Climate Variability and Change in the Paci c Northwest of the United States.”
Journal of Climate 27, no. 5 (2014): 2125-2142.
- Rupp, David E., John T. Abatzoglou, Katherine C. Hegewisch, and Philip W. Mote. “Evaluation of CMIP5 20th Century Climate Simulations for the Paci c Northwest USA.” Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres 118, no. 19 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1002/jgrd.50843.
- Rupp, David E., John T. Abatzoglou, and Philip W. Mote. “Projections of 21st Century Climate of the Columbia River Basin.” Climate Dynamics (2016): 1-17. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00382-016-3418-7.
Nathan Gilles is the managing editor of The Climate Circulator, and oversees CIRC’s social media accounts and website. When he’s not writing for CIRC, Nathan works as a freelance science writer. Other Posts by this Author.
Stay up to date on the latest climate science news for the Northwest, subscribe to the CIRCulator.