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Juneau Climate Report

Juneau's Changing Climate & Community Response

The Alaska Coastal Rainforest Center (ACRC) is pleased to bring you this report on climate change. ACRC and the University of Alaska Southeast Juneau reside on the ancestral lands of the Áak’w Kwáan Tlingit. Long before western observations of climate change, Indigenous people of Southeast Alaska observed and responded adaptively to changes in this dynamic environment, including rapid glacial advances and retreats, sea-level rise and fall, and a host of extreme events that are well-documented in oral histories. We honor and respect Indigenous experience with climate change and the intergenerational wisdom that has guided Alaska Natives through earlier periods of environmental changes.

Now, a new era of climate change unprecedented in human history is upon us, and Juneau, as a modern capital city and regional hub, must respond and adapt accordingly. Juneau’s citizens have launched an innovative carbon offset program, its scientists engage in impactful marine, temperate forest, and glacial research, and its downtown port holds the world’s first plug-in shore power for cruise ships to reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions. Yet, even with Juneau’s initiatives and successes, many questions remain about the nature and scale of the changes that are undeniably coming.

ACRC and its research partners, including federal, state, and tribal organizations, and other entities, share this sense of urgency. By prioritizing scientific investigations of local impacts of social-environmental change in the Pacific Coastal Temperate Rainforest and its coastal margins, ACRC seeks to inform the wellbeing of communities, ecosystems, and key species that support the livelihoods, cultures, and socio-economic systems of our unique bioregion. This report is designed as a living document to inform the community, decision-makers, and academics and to serve as a learning and teaching tool.

Read the PDF report

Key Messages

The information in this report can be summarized in nine key messages. These pages provide a visual display of complex climate data that can be used as a quick reference and guide to more in-depth information throughout the report.

key messages graphic from the Juneau's changing climate and community response report

Juneau is experiencing a clear long-term upward trend of precipitation. The average annual precipitation has increased approximately 20 inches over the past 96 years. Learn more in section A.2.

graph of precipitation in Juneau over the past 96 years, with a significant increase in annual precipitation, with occasional short-term exceptions.

Temperatures are generally rising, with significant increases in the winter and summer but much less change in spring and autumn. Learn more in section A.3.

graph of annual temperature in the city and borough of Juneau. Temperatures have been rising in the CBJ over the last 97 years

Continued warming can be expected to decrease the amount of snowfall near sea level. From 1940 to 2020, average winter snow accumulation at the Juneau airport followed a downward trend. Learn more in section A.4.

graph of annual winter snowfall at the the Juneau International Airport showing a modest downward trend in snowfall. showing

Sea level rise is currently outpaced by land surface uplift caused by receding glaciers, but sea level rise may overtake land surface uplift later this century. Learn more in section B.1.

Graph showing projected sea level rise under different greenhouse gas scenarios, with the predicted Juneau land surface uplift by 2100

Warming sea temperatures are anticipated to greatly stress many parts of the ocean’s ecosystems, such as marine mammals, fish, and seabirds, and may enhance algal blooms. Learn more in section B.2.

graph showing the projected mean sea surface temperature in the gulf of Alaska and the projected sea surface change in temperature compared to 1976 to 2005

Declining marine pH will likely cause broad negative social and ecological impacts on marine ecosystems. Learn more in section B.3.

Seasonal trends of pH (left) and argonite (right) from the M/V Columbia ferry over a period from 2017 to 2019 show that acidification spikes in the fall and winter

Landslides are expected to increase, as the climate becomes warmer, wetter, and characterized by more extreme precipitation events. Learn more in section C.1.

Climate data from the Juneau airport showing days per year of precipitation greater or equal to 0.50 inches with the black line representing the trend from 1980 to 2019

The City and Borough of Juneau has developed a climate policy and proposed implementing strategic climate actions to lower greenhouse gases by obtaining 80% of Juneau’s energy from renewable sources by the year 2045. Learn more in section M.

CBJ’s major policies and actions timeline with the five milestones the CBJ adapted from the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives

Juneau’s nonprofits and tribal and local governments are taking action to mitigate and adapt to climate change. Learn more in section N.