Climate change scientific reports

We lead Washington's efforts to track levels and sources of carbon pollution, and we work to help policy makers, scientists, business owners, and all state residents understand and prepare for the environmental impacts of climate change. 

Below you can find our scientific reports related to climate change. 

Greenhouse gases

The Washington Legislature recognized the need to act on climate change and established limits and reporting requirements on the state’s greenhouse gas emissions reductions in 2008. It is our responsibility to measure the progress state agencies are making to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and make recommendations on the need for more stringent targets for reductions.

Preparing for a changing climate

In 2009, the Washington Legislature directed Ecology and other state agencies to develop a report enabling state and local agencies, public and private businesses, nongovernmental organizations, and individuals to prepare for, address, and adapt to the impacts of climate change. The report was published in 2012. 

Impacts on fresh water

Climate change continues to alter snowpack and streamflows. This affects our water supply. 

Impacts on marine water

Increasing levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere causes seawater to become more acidic, threatening marine life. We are closely monitoring these changes to help protect Washington's marine environment.

Impacts on sea levels

We, along with Washington Sea Grant, lead a team of experts from public agencies, academic institutions, and nonprofit organizations from Jan. 1, 2016 through Dec. 31, 2018 to rapidly increase the state’s capacity to prepare for natural events, like rising sea levels,  that threaten the coast.

Impacts on toxics cleanup

Washington State has been a leader in cleaning up past contamination and returning areas blighted by toxic chemicals to productive use. This progress, however, is threatened by the rising sea levels and shifting weather patterns associated with climate change. By improving the resilience of our cleanup work to climate change impacts, we can ensure that our efforts are effective in the long term. By accounting for specific climate change impacts, we can better protect the significant investment of time, resources, and money that makes cleanups happen. We have developed the following guidance for cleanup project managers to assess climate change risks.