The American West is heating up faster than any other region of the United States, and more than the Earth as a whole, according to a new analysis of 50 scientific studies.
For the last five years, from 2003 through 2007, the global climate averaged 1 degree Fahrenheit warmer than its 20th century average. During the same period, 11 Western states averaged 1.7 degrees warmer, the analysis reported.The report, by the Rocky Mountain Climate Organization, reveals “the growing consensus among scientists who study the West that climate change is no longer an abstraction,” said Bradley H. Udall of the University of Colorado, whose work was cited in the study. “The signs are everywhere.”
“If we don’t want this problem to get really bad, we need to pass a climate bill with teeth,” said Theo Spencer, a project manager at Natural Resources Defense Council that funded the Rocky Mountain Climate analysis. “Western senators need to take the lead, considering what’s at stake in their states.”