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Climate Change Creates "Fastest Heating" States

Posted by Christina B. Farnsworth

Jun 19, 2014 9:40:00 AM

In Chicago, we used to say that “If you don’t like the weather, wait a minute, it will change.” In the Southwest, we say, “It’s a dry heat.”  When it's 108, as it was recently in Tucson, it's hard to claim that heat that hot is better than lower temperatures with higher humidity. It's hot. And the U.S is getting hotter, except in a very few places. According to a recent analysis, in the last 30 years, Vermont, Maine and New Mexico take the prize for getting hotter.

All weather is local. Climate scientists warn us not to extrapolate globally based on local weather. Generally U.S. temperatures have increased by a little more than 1 degree with summers heating up 1.6 degrees. However, certain parts of the country well exceed those increases.

A recent CBS news story on climate change reported that the United States “is warming fastest at two of its corners, in the Northeast and the Southwest, an analysis of federal temperature records shows.”

Maine and Vermont have been the Northeast’s temperature-gain leaders during the last 30 years. They are an average of 2.5 degrees hotter. But it is the Southwest that has gotten really toasty. New Mexico summers are now more than three degrees hotter than 1984.

Though the East and the Midwest had record-breaking winters, Nevada and California were warmer in the winter than ever.

The Associated Press analyzed National Climatic Data Center  temperature trends in “48 states, 192 cities and 344 smaller regions within the states.”

Only North Dakota cooled slightly.

Some of the 192 cities that were analyzed had become surprisingly hotter. Carson City, Nev., and Boise, Idaho, saw the most warming over 30 years—more than four degrees.

Climate scientists thought drought was a driver of Southwestern warming while warmer water in the North Atlantic was warming the East Coast.

Learn how climate change and weather extremes will impact how we build homes here.  Check out Green Builder Media's exclusive interview with climate hero Bill McKibben or watch the free webinar by clicking the button below. 

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