warm it up, yo
Global warming is so wickety-wickety-whack!
The Rocky Mountain Climate Organization:
The American West has warmed 70 percent more than the planet as a whole, according to a new analysis in a report released today by the Rocky Mountain Climate Organization (RMCO) and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). The West’s most pronounced temperature increase is in the Colorado River basin, which has warmed more than twice as much as the global average, with effects that put at risk a major water supply for over 30 million people from Denver to Los Angeles.
According to the report’s new analysis of temperature data, the last five years, 2003 through 2007, in the 11 western states were 1.7 degrees warmer than the region’s 20th century average. That is 70 percent more than the global increase of 1.0 degree, measured in the same way. The West’s warming has been greatest in the Colorado River basin, covering parts of seven states, where the last five years were 2.2 degrees warmer than the 20th century average. That is the greatest increase in temperatures in the United States outside of Alaska. Across the West, the increases in temperature are linked to less snowfall, smaller snowpacks, and earlier snowmelt, affecting the 70 percent of western water supplies that come from snowmelt. Particularly vulnerable is the Colorado River, which is the major source of water in the West’s arid and semiarid interior.
“Scientists have been saying that heat-trapping gases will make the West hotter and drier, and our analysis shows that the changes are already well underway,” said Stephen Saunders, president of RMCO and one of the report’s principal authors.
“Global warming is hitting the West hard,” said Theo Spencer of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). “It is already taking an economic toll on the region’s tourism, recreation, skiing, hunting and fishing activities. The speed of warming and mounting economic damage make clear the urgent need to limit global warming pollution.”
Summary report may be found here (pdf).