Last Update 1:36
Saturday, 21 September 2019

Climate change brings more pleasant weather to US - for now

Reuters , Wednesday 20 Apr 2016
Views: 1451
Views: 1451

Researchers have a message for Americans who like the milder winters and agreeable summers experienced in most of the United States since the 1970s thanks to global climate change: enjoy it while you can.

Eighty percent of Americans live in areas experiencing weather that is more pleasant than four decades ago, with balmier winters along with summers that are no more humid and only marginally warmer, researchers said on Wednesday.

By 2100, however, 88 percent of Americans will face weather considerably less comfortable, with summers eventually heating up at a much faster rate than the winters over the course of the 21st century, they found.

The researchers studied weather conditions from 1974 to 2013 in the continental United States, which excludes Alaska and Hawaii, and then examined projections to the end of the century.

"For those of us who are deeply concerned about climate change, our findings are disheartening," New York University politics and public policy professor Patrick Egan said.

"This is because improvements in year-round weather are giving Americans the wrong signal about the dangers of global warming. Rather than catalyzing a demand for policy response, daily weather may be another cause for apathy about this critically important problem."

Scientists predict effects from global climate change including rising sea levels, increasing temperatures, more droughts and heat waves, stronger hurricanes, different precipitation patterns, glacial melting and sea ice loss.

So far, US temperatures have risen primarily during times of the year when many people would welcome warmer days.

Americans on average have encountered a significant increase in January daily maximum temperatures, which have risen 1.04 degrees Fahrenheit (0.58 degrees Celsius) per decade. July daily maximum temperatures increased by just 0.13 degrees Fahrenheit (0.07 degrees Celsius) per decade and summertime humidity has fallen slightly since the mid-1990s, the study found.

"In terms of large population centers where people have not experienced improved conditions, they are clustered in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and parts of southern California and Arizona," Duke University environmental politics professor Megan Mullin said.

With temperate year-round conditions prevalent, scientists must recognize that the U.S. public may not receive messages of a gradually warming planet with much concern, Mullin said.

"To capture public attention and concern, it may be more fruitful to talk about extreme events that have potentially much more serious effects on the economy and human health," Mullin added.

The research was published in the journal Nature.

Short link:


Ahram Online welcomes readers' comments on all issues covered by the site, along with any criticisms and/or corrections. Readers are asked to limit their feedback to a maximum of 1000 characters (roughly 200 words). All comments/criticisms will, however, be subject to the following code
  • We will not publish comments which contain rude or abusive language, libelous statements, slander and personal attacks against any person/s.
  • We will not publish comments which contain racist remarks or any kind of racial or religious incitement against any group of people, in Egypt or outside it.
  • We welcome criticism of our reports and articles but we will not publish personal attacks, slander or fabrications directed against our reporters and contributing writers.
  • We reserve the right to correct, when at all possible, obvious errors in spelling and grammar. However, due to time and staffing constraints such corrections will not be made across the board or on a regular basis.

© 2010 Ahram Online.