Trees grace the urban environment © Kevin Lee

Stories in Washington

Urban Trees and Climate Change

Climate change is already impacting our cities and towns in the Puget Sound– with increased extreme rain events and flooding, hotter summers, denser air pollution and more. Nature and people are feeling the effects. A quick look at some changes coming to the Puget Sound region:

  • By 2050, annual average temperature is expected to rise 4.2 to 5.9 degrees Fahrenheit

  • By 2070, days that precipitation exceeds the 99th percentile of 24-hour precipitation rate is expected to increase from 2 days per year to 8 days per year

  • Heavier rainfall will lead to increased flooding, combined sewer overflows, and additional stormwater pollution

  • Increased temperatures in streams, ocean acidification and changes in streamflows are projected to negatively impact salmon


It is going to take an effort from all of us to take action on these impacts — from the top down and bottom up.  Trees and a healthy urban canopy are an important tool in our toolbox.  Trees store carbon and filter air, reduce stormwater pollution, cool our urban landscapes and support social connections — all while providing habitat for our wildlife.

Learn More About the Benefits of Urban Trees