According to the Washington Post, New Jersey is “one of the fastest-warming states in the nation”, heating up at double the average of other lower 48 states.
The amount at which it has warmed is the magic (or tragic) number of 2 degrees Celsius (about 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit). I’ve called it the magic number because it is the one cited by the Paris Accord to keep temperatures below that rise to prevent calamitous changes such as coral reefs disappearing and enormous sea level rise from melting ice sheets.
But New Jersey is already there, reaching that warming temperature increase between 1895 and now. Tying New Jersey is Rhode Island followed by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Maine. But the gold medal winter for fastest warming state is Alaska.
The conclusion to take away from the Post’s findings which used data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is that climate change is not affecting every state, country and continent in the same way at the same pace, as geography and ecosystems vary greatly.
In the Northeast, warmer winters mean waterways don’t freeze, snow melts more quickly and insects that used to die off survive over the winter. Bacteria in waterways, such as the recent calamitous reports of blue/green algae disease and deaths, as well as, among many other effects, the greater number of rats in New York City can be traced to warmer winters.
Whether Right or Left Coast, high-density urban areas are heating up rapidly. Los Angeles has already reached the 2C (or more) increase, as has most of New York City, Nassau County (2.2C) and Suffolk County (2.3C). Not far behind is Westchester (2.0).
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Steven J. Schleider, MAI, LEED-AP BD+C
President, Metropolitan Valuation Services