The Northeast is one of the regions in the country that has seen the most warming due to climate change, according to a new report from the Washington Post.
Using more than a century of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration temperature data, the Post analysis found alarming trends in what it called the “Northeast hot spot.” Here are some highlights of what the Post found:
■Major areas of the United States are nearing or have already crossed the crucial 2-degree Celsius mark in warming, which is considered a critical threshold.
■“Alaska is the fastest-warming state in the country, but Rhode Island is the first state in the Lower 48 whose average temperature rise has eclipsed 2 degrees Celsius,” the Post reported. “Other parts of the Northeast — New Jersey, Connecticut, Maine and Massachusetts — trail close behind.”
■Narragansett Bay “has warmed as much as 1.6 degrees Celsius in the past 50 years, and for want of cooler water, the state’s lobster catch has plummeted 75 percent in the past two decades.”
■ Roy Carpenter’s Beach, a private beach in South Kingstown, R.I., is eroding an average of 3.3 feet a year.
■Winter temperatures from December through February have risen by 2 degrees Celsius since 1895-1896 in every Northeast state except Pennsylvania.
■US Geological Survey data shows that ice breaks up in New England lakes nine to 16 days earlier than it did back in the 19th century.
■Daniel Pauly, a marine scientist at the University of British Columbia, told the Post that such hot spots are early warning signals. “Basically,” he said, “these hot spots are chunks of the future in the present.”
Nationwide, trends are clear. Starting in the late 1800s, US temperatures began to rise and continued slowly up through the 1930s. The nation then cooled slightly for several decades. But starting around 1970, temperatures rose steeply.
The Globe reported in March that over the past three decades, there have been nearly six times as many daily records for heat as daily records for cold broken at the Blue Hill Observatory south of Boston. If we don’t stop the warming, Boston will one day feel like Baltimore, scientists have warned.