Latest Study Shows Record Jumps in Temperature and Humidity in Wisconsin, Midwest and U.S. in Last Five Years
- Average annual temperatures climbed faster in Wisconsin and Minnesota in
the last 5 years than they did in any of the other Midwest states.
Temperature data were from the Midwest Regional Climate Center (MRCC), a
cooperative program of the Illinois State Water Survey and the National
Climatic Data Center of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration, U.S, Department of Commerce. The study used temperature
data from 113 rural and small town climate stations to avoid any
potential for land development and urbanization to influence temperature
records used for the study.
Wisconsin and Minnesota temperature levels increased over the past 5
years by 2.3 degrees Fahrenheit (�F) above average long term temperatures
at stations in Wisconsin and Minnesota. Illinois' temperatures rose
1.7�F above the Illinois stations' long term averages; Michigan's
temperatures rose 1.7�F above station long term averages; Indiana's
increase was 1.4�F increase, while Iowa and Ohio had increases of 1.3�F
and 1.2�F, respectively above long term averages for climate stations.
Air temperatures at all stations sampled in various regions of the
country all show measurable temperature increases in the last 5 years.
The latest five year average temperatures in the Midwest and Great Plains
are much more than just above a previous long term average, many are now
the highest five year average temperatures of record.
Average annual temperatures increased faster in the Upper Midwest (WI,
MN, MI) region in the last 5 years than in any other region of the U.S..
As the temperatures rose so too did dew points measured, reflecting an
overall rise in the moisture level of the atmosphere in the last 5 years,
which has been predicted in global warming models. The Great Plains
region had the highest increase in average dew point at 2.8�F, the
Midwest had the next highest at 2.4�F, the East had an increase of 2.0�F
and the South 1.0� F.
Fairbanks, Alaska had the highest reported dew point increase of 5.7�F in
the last 5 years...above its long term average. Dew point data was
obtained from airport sites located around the country, acquired from
MRCC as well (except Alaska data was obtained from the Western Regional
Data used are publicly accessible at websites:
Table 1: Increase in Yearly Average Temperatures 1998 through 2002 in
Midwest States Above Long Term Temperature Average for Each State
Table 2: Increase in Yearly Average Temperatures at Wisconsin Stations
Above Long Term Average
Increase/City/Year Record-keeping Began
1.7 Portage 1896
1.4 Oconto 4W 1898
2.5 Sturgeon Bay 1901
1.7 Brodhead 1SW 1898
1.9 Watertown 1895
3.3 Weyerhauser 1906
3.6 Spooner Exp Sta 1896
2.3 Marshfield Exp 1913
avg. 2.3 Wisconsin
The latest five year average annual air temperatures (1998 through 2002)
were above the long term averages of record (100 year averages at many
stations) - for all regions within the United States. The amounts above
average are shown in Table 3. For dew points, the latest five year
averages were above long term averages (1948 through 1997), shown in
Table 3: Increase in Average Yearly Temperatures in U.S. Regions Over
Long Term Average
1.9 Great Plains
Table 4: Increase in Average Yearly Dew Points in U.S. Regions Over Long
2.8 Great Plains
*No dew point data available for stations in the west region
Table 5: Increase in Average Yearly Dew Point Temperatures at Wisconsin
Stations Over Long Term Average
2.4 WI La Crosse 1948
2.5 WI Madison 1948
2.5 WI Milwaukee 1948
2.7 WI Eau Claire 1948
2.9 WI Green Bay 1948
Average global temperatures have also continued to rise over the last
decade and one-half. Temperature's in the last 5 years have been higher
than at any time in the history of temperature record keeping.
The National Climate Data Center's records of average land temperatures
throughout the world show that the global average temperature for May
2003 was the highest temperature of record for the month of May (record:
1880 to present). The average land temperature for May was 1.73�F above
the long-term mean for the period of record for May.
Globally averaged monthly surface temperatures (land and ocean) have now
been warmer than the 1971-2000 monthly global averages for the 85
straight months, closely reflecting the increasing accumulation of
greenhouse gas quantities and the rise in carbon dioxide concentrations
in the atmosphere over the last several years.
At the same time that average global temperatures (and moisture levels)
of the land and oceans have risen, so too have the amounts of greenhouse
gases in the atmosphere. The concentration of the most abundant of the
greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide (CO2), has increased from about 290
parts per million (PPM) at the beginning of the last century, to a
present the concentration in the atmosphere of 370 PPM.
The amount of CO2 in the atmosphere by weight is estimated to be
approximately 800 billion tons (see ClimateArchive Feb. 21, 2003).
Approximately 240 billion tons of that amount (30% of 800 billion tons)
has been added by humans in the last 150 years, as a direct result of
fossil fuel burning.
Scientists know that increasing amount of CO2 in the atmosphere causes a
warming of the atmosphere. The reason is that, if it were not for the
background (non anthropogenic) levels of CO2 in the atmosphere,
temperatures on Earth would average 0�F, rather than the currently global
average of about 59�F.
Madison IMC: http://madison.indymedia.org/
Sunday, 28 June 2003
by Michael T. Neuman
(minor editing by Pat Neuman 6/28/2003)
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