Climate change may have played a significant role in the odd weather patterns seen across the United States last month. Very few states saw normal temperatures, and 48 of them saw higher than average temperatures. The average temperature for states during the month of February sat at around 41.2 degrees, with some having an average temperature as high as 7.3 degrees above average. These temperatures aren’t usually seen until around March.
Each year the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration records temperatures around the United States. On Wednesday they released a report showing that this last February is the second warmest we have seen in the past 123 years of recording. It fell just short of first place to 1954, but only by a slim margin of .2 degrees. If you just counted the states that were East from the Rocky Mountains it would be counted as the warmest in recorded history.
This year there were 16 individual states that set record highs for the month of February. Many of the record setting states were in the South. The only states that saw lower than normal temperatures was Washington and a small piece of Oregon.
It is highly likely that human effects on climate change have played a role in this freaky weather. Climate Central, which is a not for profit research organization, released their own report that showed that this year’s weather was made three times as likely due to the impact humanity has had on climate change. This weather would have been highly unlikely 120 years ago.
The United States has seen a lot of change in recent years in terms of temperature. We are seeing a vast number of record highs being set in specific locations at certain times of the year, while we are seeing very few cold records in return. The ratio of warm records to cold records sits at 28 to 1. The lower 48 states are seeing less colder months and an increase in warmer months.