Study says RI is fastest warming state
Climate change is warming some parts of the United States faster than others, says a new analysis of climate data — and Rhode Island is heating up faster than anywhere else.
The study, from research and public outreach organization Climate Central, looks at temperature data for the past 100 years. It found that four of the five fastest warming states are in or close to New England: Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Maine.
Natural climate variability, together with atmospheric aerosols, are to blame, says the study, titled “The Heat is On.” The pace of warming started to speed up dramatically in the 1970s, with every state showing a rise in overall temperatures since then — the time when greenhouse gases began to be a major factor in climate change.
In all, Rhode Island has warmed .39 degrees Fahrenheit every decade since 1912, while the continent as a whole has warmed an average of 1.3 degrees over that time.
“The states that have warmed the most — whether you look at the past 100 years or just the past 40 — include northern-tier states from Minnesota to Maine and the Southwest, particularly Arizona and New Mexico,” says Climate Central. “Places 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.”
The top 10 fastest warming states, in descending order:
The 10 slowest-warming states: