Global climate change

Long-term temperature trends for the US and North America

By Brett Anderson, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
1/05/2018, 7:39:51 AM

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The start of the new year is a good time to check out the long-term temperature trends across the United States and North America.

The data below from NOAA was released in the latest National Climate Assessment.

Changes in US average temperature from the 1901-1960 period to the 1986-2016 period.

You can clearly see that the annual average temperature has warmed over 1 degree Fahrenheit for a large portion of the country. The exception is the Deep South and Mississippi Valley, especially during the summer months.


Long-term (going back to 480 AD) pollen-based temperature reconstruction of North America.

Note the sharp increase in temperature starting around the industrial revolution.

The chart below shows years with more record-high temperatures and years with more record-low temperatures for the U.S.

Note the clear increase in years with more record highs vs. record low since the start of this century.

Warming trend assessment. Is this natural or influenced by humans?

A large portion of the U.S. and southern Canada have a detectable human influenced temperature increase that is consistent with modeling. The exception is the southeastern U.S.

The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of AccuWeather, Inc. or AccuWeather.com

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Global climate change