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Trends

2017 Rating Red
2016 Rating Red Indicator Key

Indicator

This indicator includes greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for all King County residents and businesses and local data about the environmental, human health, economic and environmental impacts of climate change.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions such as carbon dioxide and methane are the primary cause of recent climate change. One indicator focuses on measuring progress towards reducing all types of GHG emissions from all activities attributable to King County residents, businesses, and other entities. A second indicator provides detailed information about how King County government is reducing emissions associated with operations.

Human Health and Economic Impacts of Climate Change

Climate change will have long-term consequences for both public health and the economy in King County; some of these impacts are already occurring. King County is tracking human health and economic impact indicators that are showing improvements in air quality but also increasing natural disasters, decreasing salmon populations, and negative heat-related impacts to human health. These observed changes are consistent with the projected local impacts of climate change, and many other impacts are also likely.

Environmental Impacts of Climate Change

Important climate change related shifts in King County's physical environment have been observed in recent years, and are documented in this indicator. King County is tracking these changes in the local environment to help assess the severity of local climate-influenced impacts.

Increasing air and water temperatures, acidifying marine waters, increasing fall flooding, rising sea levels, decreasing snow pack, and decreasing summertime river flows are examples of changes that have been observed in King County; these trends are consistent with expected and projected local climate change impacts, and many other impacts are also occurring.