Climate Change and Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Corte Madera

Climate change refers to the long-term shift in the average weathGlobal Warming at a Glance Imageer pattern caused by greenhouse gas emissions from human activities. Greenhouse gases (GHGs), such as carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and hydrofluorocarbons, trap heat within Earth’s atmosphere. Although many of these gases occur naturally in Earth’s atmosphere, human activities like burning fossil fuels have increased the concentration of these gases in the atmosphere, causing global average surface temperatures to rise.

To learn more about climate change and global climate data, visit NASA's climate site.


Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Most GHG emissions in Corte Madera come from the combustion of fossil fuels in the transportation and building energy use sectors. Emissions in the transportation sector are primarily due to driving gas-powered vehicles, while emissions from buildings come mostly from natural gas (also called fossil or methane gas) use for space heating, water heating, and cooking. Together, the categories of transportation and natural gas use in buildings account for 92 percent of Corte Madera’s greenhouse gas emissions.

2021 Corte Madera Greenhouse Gas Inventory

2021 GHG Inventory Pie ChartCorte Madera’s latest community greenhouse gas inventory is for the year 2021 and was published in October 2023.

In December 2020, the Town of Corte Madera updated its Climate Action Plan, which outlines strategies to reduce communitywide GHG emissions.


Climate Impacts

Global climate change impacts local weather patterns. The Town of Corte Madera is already experiencing the effects of climate change, and projections indicate that these impacts will continue to worsen throughout the century. This increase in climate impacts poses significant immediate, medium-term, and long-term risks to the community’s health, safety, economy, ecosystems, and infrastructure. The main climate impacts in Corte Madera are:

  • Longer and more intense drought events
  • Increased wildfire risk
  • More extreme heat days and heat waves
  • Increased inland flooding
  • Sea level rise

To learn more about these climate impacts and what Corte Madera is doing to prepare, visit the home of Corte Madera’s Climate Adaptation Assessment.