A new study from Climate Central has revealed that although the continental U.S. has warmed by about 1.3°F over the past 100 years, the temperature rise is not the same everywhere. Some states are getting warmer than others due to natural variability and air pollution. According to the research, Arizona, Minnesota and Wisconsin are among the fastest-warming states in the country since 1970.
By conducting a state-by-state analysis of warming over the past 100 years, Climate Central has been able to show where in the US it has warmed the most and where it warmed the least. The study also discovered that the pace of warming in all states accelerated dramatically in the 1970s, the decade when greenhouse gases began to overwhelm other natural and human influences on the global and national climate.
Between 1912 and 2011, the top 10 fastest warming states warmed 60 times faster than the 10 slowest warming states. Led by Arizona, the fastest warming state, the top 10 was rounded out by other states in the Southwest and upper Midwest. They include Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Vermont, New Mexico, Utah, Maine, Texas and Massachusetts.
In a statement, report author Claudia Tebaldi, senior scientist at Climate Central said: “The Southwest and North Central and Northeastern states are clearly warming faster than the rest of the country. As warming continues, future droughts could be hotter and more severe, seasons will be altered, and the risk of wildfires will increase significantly, making summers like 2011 increasingly common.”
The study also showed that some states haven’t warmed at all. Alabama, Arkansas and Georgia didn’t warm at all over the past 100 years. The states that have warmed the least include Southeast states, like Florida, Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina, along with parts of the central Midwest, like Iowa and Nebraska.
Click here to see the interactive map and find out how fast your state is warming.