Global Warming Skews Record Temperature Distribution
According to a new study to be published in Geophysical Research Letters, global warming is distorting the ratio of record high temperatures to record low temperatures in the continental United States.
Record high days have outpaced record lows by about 2-to-1 this decade, and even greater increases are projected by century's end-up to 20-to-1 without efforts to curb carbon pollution, according to the National Center for Atmospheric Research's Gerald Meehl, lead author of the study.
"Climate change is making itself felt in terms of day-to-day weather in the United States," said Meehl. "The ways these records are being broken show how our climate is already shifting."
Between Jan. 1, 2000, and Sept. 30, 2009, the U.S. experienced 291,237 record high temperatures and 142,420 record low temperatures. The ratio without global warming is generally expected to be about 1-to-1.