Causes of climate change
Greenhouse gases in the atmosphere trap and hold heat at the Earth’s surface. Carbon-based energy and fuel produce greenhouse gases. These primarily come from energy, transportation, landfills, and materials production and transport.
Austin’s carbon footprint
13.7 million metric tons of carbon dioxide-equivalent.
- 53% of greenhouse gas emissions come from energy
- 36% from transportation
- 5% from materials and waste management
- 6% from industrial processes
The typical Austinite carbon footprint is 14 metric tons of carbon dioxide-equivalent.
- 50% from energy
- 43% from transportation
- 7% from materials and waste management
With Austin’s population on the rise, our carbon footprint could get bigger and have negative outcomes such as:
- High temperature extremes
- Increased flooding
- More periods of drought
This would mean negative consequences for health, property, and affordability.
Climate projections for Austin
The Office of Sustainability has worked closely with ATMOS Research, led by Dr. Katharine Hayhoe, to conduct geographically specific climate models for Austin through 2100 using the Camp Mabry Weather Station.
This report found that climate projections are consistent with larger-scale trends observed across the U.S. and the world. Austin can expect more extreme weather in the future, such as:
- Increases in annual and seasonal average temperatures, meaning more frequent high temperature extremes.
- Slight increase in number of dry days per year, meaning more frequent drought conditions in summer due to hotter weather.
- Little change in annual average precipitation, meaning more frequent extreme precipitation.