Tracking Climate Change

BY ON November 11, 2015

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Autumnal changes have been deceptive here in the Northeast. Our top tourism season got off to a slow start. Some of my leafy trees still haven’t gotten the memo to start their vibrant fall transition.

Beyond messing up the plans of leaf-peepers, research shows changes in peak foliage dates, due to climate change, could have implications for nutrient cycles in forests. And researchers note the trend is extending beyond New England. While the north has seen delayed shifts, southern coastal areas are seeing changes earlier. This all affects bird migrations, ocean life patterns and ecosystem changes.

Spurred by a warmer climate across the U.S., daily record high temperatures are now occurring more often than new record lows, due to climate change. The most recent decade (2000-2010) was the nation’s warmest on record. This trend is one of the strongest signals of climate change that we experience directly. In a stable climate, the number of new record highs and lows are approximately even. However, in our warming climate, record highs have begun to outpace record lows, with the imbalance growing. This trend is one of the clearest signals of climate change that we experience directly.

Climate Change Tracking Tool

This tool from Climate Nexus updates daily to offer a snapshot look at the U.S. ratio between hot and cold temperature records as it stands for the period of the last 365 days. The 1950s and 1990s tabs also offer the decadal view from which the trend driven by climate change is clearest.

As greenhouse gas emissions continue to warm the atmosphere, and our weather becomes more and more extreme, the ratio of record highs to lows is likely to increase dramatically. This climate chaos contributes to more health issues for our children and ourselves – asthma attacks, heart attacks, heart disease, stroke, lung cancer, premature death, emergency room visits, hospital admissions, low birth weight, premature birth, diabetes, pneumonia, and even autism.

That’s why we will continue to fight to limit carbon and methane emissions that contribute to climate change.

 




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TOPICS: Climate Change, Heat and Extreme Weather, New England