US EPA: Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the third edition of a report, Climate Change Indicators in the United States. The report pulls together observed data on key measures of our environment, including U.S. and global temperature and precipitation, ocean heat and ocean acidity, sea level, length of growing season, and many others. With 30 indicators that include over 80 maps and graphs showing long-term trends, the report demonstrates that climate change is already affecting our environment and our society.
Consistent with the recently released National Climate Assessment, this report presents clear evidence that the impacts of climate change are already occurring across the United States. The report shows evidence that:
· Average temperatures have risen across the contiguous 48 states since 1901, with an increased rate of warming over the past 30 years. Seven of the top 10 warmest years on record have occurred since 1998.
· Tropical storm activity in the Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean, and the Gulf of Mexico has increased during the past 20 years.
· Along the U.S. coastline, sea level has risen the most along the Mid-Atlantic coast and parts of the Gulf Coast, where some stations registered increases of more than 8 inches between 1960 and 2013.
· Glaciers have been melting at an accelerated rate over the past decade. The resulting loss of ice has contributed to the observed rise in sea level.
· Every part of the Southwest experienced higher average temperatures between 2000 and 2013 than the long-term average dating back to 1895. Some areas were nearly 2°F warmer than average.
· Since 1983, the United States has had an average of 72,000 recorded wildfires per year. Of the 10 years with the largest acreage burned, nine have occurred since 2000, with many of the largest increases occurring in western states.
· Water levels in most of the Great Lakes have declined in the last few decades.