First Alert Weather: Earth Continues To Warm

Published: Jun. 18, 2020 at 8:45 PM CDT
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Thursday is the third annual #MetsUnite to #ShowYourStripes. Created by climate scientist Ed Hawkins using annual temperature anomalies (the difference from long-term average), this simple blue-to-red visual has inspired communities around the world. Warming stripes have appeared on cars, murals, light shows, Economist magazines, and much more—not to mention their use by hundreds of meteorologists and climate communicators.

Today is "Show Your Stripes" day where Meteorologists around the world share climate stripes for their particular areas....

Posted by Meteorologist Brian Doogs NBC15 on Thursday, June 18, 2020

The latest stripe added for 2019 was for the second hottest year on record. Most places show a clear warming trend, especially in fast-warming areas like the Southwest, Northeast, and Alaska. And while recent temperatures were mixed in the U.S., the world had its warmest May on record—virtually guaranteeing another top-5 year for heat. NOAA and NASA’s global temperature data is in, naming 2019 the 2nd hottest year on Earth since records began and making the 2010s the hottest decade on record.

Warming temperatures hit hardest in disadvantaged communities—with health dangers, food and water stress, coastal flooding, economic damage, and threatened ways of life. Curbing these impacts may be the greatest challenge of our time, but solutions exist from renewable energy to cleaner transportation and agriculture. Reducing emissions would limit the warming that drives those impacts—as illustrated by Alexander Radtke’s “stripes of the future”.

METHODOLOGY: The “warming stripes” design was conceived by Ed Hawkins, as described here. Stripes for stations and states are based on the anomaly from the 20th century average. For a subset of locations where there was no data until after 1901, the anomaly is based on the oldest 100-year average available for that city. Stations with less than 100 years of data were not included. Station data is from RCC-ACIS and state data is from NCDC Climate at a Glance.