Things are heating up here in the United States, but for some more than others. The Northeast and Southwest corners are warming the fastest than any other part in the nation, a temperature record analysis shows.
Northeastern states, led by Maine and Vermont, have gotten the hottest in the last 30 years, gaining 2.5 degrees Celsius on average. As for the Southwest, it's gotten to know the meaning of the "dog days of summer." For instance, the average New Mexico summer is 3.4 degrees warmer now than in 1984, and for Texas, they're suffering temperatures 2.8 degrees hotter, according to The Associated Press.
"In the United States, it isn't warming equally," said Kelly Redmond, climatologist at the Western Regional Climate Center in Reno, Nevada. "Be careful about extrapolating from your own backyard to the globe."
The United States as a whole has warmed up on average by 1.2 degrees, and more so during summer months with a 1.6 degree average rise in temperature since 1984 (this date in particular is used as a baseline since the United States experienced average temperatures 30 years ago).
But due to atmospheric factors and randomness, climatologists say, these general figures cannot be applied to everyone. While those in the East and Midwest were complaining of a frigid winter, people in Nevada and California were enjoying some of their warmest winter months ever.
To figure out which places were heating up most, the Associated Press analyzed National Climatic Data Center temperature trends in 48 states, 192 cities and 344 smaller regions within the states.
In the past three decades, 10 states - Maine, Vermont, Rhode Island, Delaware, New Jersey, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Connecticut, New Hampshire and New York - have become warmer by at least two degrees.
Also, 92 percent of more than 500 cities and smaller regions have gotten hotter and nearly two-thirds of them have warmed by at least a degree. Lucky folks in North Dakota don't have to worry, because they are in the only states that actually cooled off slightly during the 30-year time period.
These numbers are disconcerting considering the fact that the United States, as well as other nations, has pledged to limit warming to two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) as part of a United Nations climate goal - an objective many think is unfeasible.
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