Midwest U.S. projected to warm faster than national average. Part 35 In The Rest Of The World Is Warming Up Twice As Fast As The Rest Of The World.


Northeast and Midwest U.S. projected to warm faster than national average

The Northeast, including Boston, is projected to warm more quickly over the next few decades than the contiguous U.S. as a whole, according to a recent study. Credit: bobwright, CC0

The U.S. Northeast and Midwest will warm quickly in the coming decades compared to national and global averages, reaching established temperature benchmarks sooner than most of the rest of the country, and the world, according to recent research published in PLOS ONE.

Under the Paris Agreement, to date ratified by 148 of the nearly 200 countries that negotiated the deal, national governments pledged to do what they could to limit the rise of global mean temperatures to less than 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels.

“Since the Paris Agreement, people have been focusing a lot on limiting warming to below 2 degrees Celsius,” says Ambarish Karmalkar, a geoscientist at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst (UMass), and lead author of the new study. This target offers a tangible goal, he says, although most climate scientists agree the planet’s average temperature will probably cross this threshold regardless of the agreement.

Still, because “global warming rates differ around the world,” Karmalkar says, it’s important to focus on regional- and local-scale projections, which will help local stakeholders plan for changes to ecology, agriculture and hydrology in their areas. “The impacts of climate change happen locally,” he says. “So it makes sense to give local planners as much information as possible.”

Climate change worse everywhere than everywhere else