Spurred by a warming climate, daily record high temperatures occurred twice as often as record lows over the last decade across the continental1 United States, new research shows. The ratio（比，比率） of record highs to lows is likely to increase dramatically in coming decades if emissions2 of greenhouse gases continue to climb. "Climate change is making itself felt in terms of day-to-day weather in the United States," says NCAR scientist Gerald Meehl, the lead author. "The ways these records are being broken show how our climate is already shifting."
The study, by authors at NCAR, Climate Central, The Weather Channel, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric3 Administration (NOAA), has been accepted for publication in Geophysical Research Letters. It was funded by the National Science Foundation, NCAR's sponsor, the Department of Energy, and Climate Central.
If temperatures were not warming, the number of record daily highs and lows being set each year would be approximately（近似地，大約） even. Instead, for the period from January 1, 2000, to September 30, 2009, the continental United States set 291,237 record highs and 142,420 record lows, as the country experienced unusually mild winter weather and intense summer heat waves.
A record daily high means that temperatures were warmer on a given day than on that same date throughout a weather station's history. The authors used a quality control process to ensure the reliability4 of data from thousands of weather stations across the country, while looking at data over the past six decades to capture longer-term trends.
This decade's warming was more pronounced in the western United States, where the ratio was more than two to one, than in the eastern United States, where the ratio was about one-and-a-half to one.
The study also found that the two-to-one ratio across the country as a whole could be attributed（歸于，屬于） more to a comparatively small number of record lows than to a large number of record highs. This indicates that much of the nation's warming is occurring at night, when temperatures are dipping less often to record lows. This finding is consistent with years of climate model research showing that higher overnight lows should be expected with climate change.
- 最新評論 進入詳細評論頁>>