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Mon Jun 29, 2020, 07:31 AM

New England/Mid-Atlantic States Fastest-Warming Region In Lower 48; Up 2C In 100 Years

As a kid growing up in Watertown, Connecticut, Daniel Esty would create his own backyard ice skating rink and flood it with a garden hose. Now, when Esty tries to create an ice rink with his own children in their backyard in nearby Cheshire, the water rarely freezes. Only a few days in recent winters have been cold enough to produce ice adequate for skating, said Esty, a Yale University environmental law professor. Having lived in Connecticut his whole life, he has witnessed the growing impact of global warming in the Northeast.

"I think all of us who've been living in New England see changes that suggest that we're in a warming cycle, and that of course, is worrisome," said Esty, who served as commissioner of the state's Department of Energy and Environmental Protection from 2011 to 2014.

Connecticut is one of the fastest-warming states, in the fastest warming region, in the contiguous United States. An analysis last year by The Washington Post found that neighboring Rhode Island was the first state among the lower 48 whose average annual temperature had warmed more than 2 degrees Celsius since 1895. New Jersey was second, the Post found, followed by Connecticut, Maine and Massachusetts. The Post analysis also found that the New York City area, including Long Island and suburban counties in New Jersey, New York and Connecticut, was among about half a dozen hot spots nationally where warming has already exceeded 2 degrees. The others are the greater Los Angeles area, the high desert in Oregon, the Western Rocky Mountains, an area from Montana to Minnesota along the Canadian border and the Northeast Shore of Lake Michigan.

Climate scientists don't fully understand why Connecticut and the other Northeast states have warmed so dramatically, but they offer an array of explanations, from warm winters that produce less snow and ice (and thus reflect less heat back into space) to warming ocean temperatures and changes in both the jet stream and the Gulf Stream.



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