by Stephen Meno
With a country in the middle of a divisive presidential election, we can all agree on one thing: the past few summers have been absolutely brutal. According to a report by Climate Central that analyzed warming trends in the continental U.S. over the past century, Connecticut has had the 12th greatest temperature increase. Since 1970, Connecticut’s average temperature rose 0.556ºF every decade, whereas it only increased about 0.8ºF from 1912 to 1970. Although this may not seem like a lot, the rise of over 2ºF in the past 40 years is the reason for our recent snowless winter, drought warnings, and one of the hottest starts to summer to date.
While it may come as no surprise that Arizona topped the list with a 2.556ºF increase in the past four decades, the two other regions that rose through the rankings were the upper Midwest and New England. Vermont, Maine, and Massachusetts respectively placed fifth, eighth, and tenth. And Floridians are probably grateful that they made the bottom of the list, along with other southeastern states with an average climb of 0.4ºF. This pattern shows that northern-tier states experiencing greater seasonality are prone to greater warming.
For climate change, the proof is definitely in the pudding, and these over 90ºF days have convinced 72% of independent voters that there is “strong evidence” for human-induced climate change. But for any remaining climate change skeptics you may come across, tell them these quick facts so we can get acceptance levels to 100%!
Reminiscent of the growing income inequality in the country, the top ten states on the list warmed 60 times faster than the bottom ten in the last 100 years. And over the past century, the rate of warming was 0.127ºF per decade, but the average rate in the last 40 years was 0.435ºF. 1970 marks the point in world history when carbon output from cars, planes, industrial production, and other sources overpowered natural curbs.
From this report, it is obvious that climate change is not a uniform process, but there is no doubt that it is happening. Whether it’s the greater temperatures in the Northeast or the rising sea level displacing millions around the Indian Ocean, people all over the world are being affected.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t like sweating just from walking to my mailbox, so let’s do something about it: Spread the word!
Image courtesy of Staffordshire Climate Change Partnership.