Nine maps showing ways climate change already affecting the United States

Temperature changes over the past 22 years (1991-2012) compared to the 1901-1960 average, and compared to the 1951-1980 average for Alaska and Hawai‘i. NOAA NCDC / CICS-NC.

This map is the simplest way to see global warming in action. Since the 19th century, average US temperatures have risen by 1.3°F to 1.9°F. (Note, though, there have been some fluctuations here and there: in the 1960s and 1970s, temperatures dipped, partly due to the cooling effect of sulfate pollution that was eventually cleaned up.)

Recent decades have been even hotter: since 1991, every region in the United States has been warming, with the biggest temperature increases occurring in the winter and spring.

Percent increases in the amount of precipitation falling in very heavy events (defined as the heaviest 1% of all daily events) from 1958 to 2012 for each region of the continental United States. Source: Karl et al. 2009.

As the atmosphere heats up, it can hold more water vapor. That, in turn, can lead to heavier precipitation — although this varies region by region.

Since the 1950s, the amount of rain or snow falling in heavy storms has increased in the Northeast, Midwest, Southeast, Great Plains, and Alaska — more than can be explained by natural variation. (It’s less clear that there’s a significant trend in the Southwest, Northwest, or Hawaii.)

By the way, this is just heavy precipitation — the report doesn’t find any trend in the United States for a few other severe weather events, including tornadoes or hurricanes or even floods.

Click here to get the rest of the report. Seven more graphics illustrating portions of the environmental disaster that conservatives and corporate flunkies tell you doesn’t exist.

At the bottom of that page – there are two dozen more card illustrations providing more verifiable information.

Here is the official interactive site that lets you wander through the full report and much more.

Here is a whole swath of information and narrative from a range of scientists and journalists. Click here to get to climatewatch.org.

Thanks, Mike

3 thoughts on “Nine maps showing ways climate change already affecting the United States

  1. keaneo says:

    Wow, evidence-based analysis and solutions. What a concept!

    Now all we need is politicians getting off their collective dead butts in Congress and agreeing to do something bright for a change.

  2. Cassandra says:

    “Great Plains’ Ecosystems Have Shifted 365 Miles Northward Since 1970” (Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies) https://e360.yale.edu/digest/great-plains-ecosystems-have-shifted-365-miles-northward-since-1970
    See also “Redrawing the Map: How the World’s Climate Zones Are Shifting” (2018) https://e360.yale.edu/features/redrawing-the-map-how-the-worlds-climate-zones-are-shifting
    “Rising global temperatures are altering climatic zones around the planet, with consequences for food and water security, local economies, and public health. Here’s a stark look at some of the distinct features that are already on the move.”

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