Photo: City of El Paso
Like nearly every large city in America, the climate of El Paso is warming rapidly. This is among the conclusions of a new comparative study, “Local Warming: An almanac of American climate change,” by Thomas Munro.
Munro, a Harvard-educated journalist, writes that he undertook this project because, “while most Americans have noticed their weather changing, they are discouraged by media, politicians, and even climate scientists from connecting those changes to global phenomena…It is this disconnect between the powerful, unsettling lived experience of a changing climate and the bogeyman of “climate change” that inspired this book.”
“Local Warming” presents and compares in charts, graphs, and an explanatory narrative the temperature histories, based on NOAA data, of the 100 largest cities in the United States from 2011 to 2017, plus the largest cities in the states not on that list. It also includes charts and graphs describing state-level results.
According to Monro, the results for El Paso speak for themselves.
- El Paso
- 1st in average temperature departure, 2011-2017 (2.4 degrees above normal)
- 2nd in months above normal average temp, 2011-2017 (81% of months)
- 16 months 5+ degrees above normal highs, 2011-2017; zero 5+ degrees below
Over those seven years, sixteen months were five or more degrees above normal highs, and none were five or more below normal.
- Averaged 1.6 degrees above normal highs over past decade
Texas’s state-level results are equally worrying, as the state has warmed steadily for the past 50 years.
As important as this local information is, the most powerful impact of “Local Warming” may lie in the national context it provides.
“Because it is not just El Paso that is warmer: only one city in the study had average temperatures below normal, on average, over the past seven years. Not a single city was cooler than normal in 2016, and only one was below normal in 2017. No city had more exceptionally warm than exceptionally cool months from 2011 to 2017. Everyone is experiencing local warming,” Munro shares.
“Local Warming: An almanac of American climate change” is available through Amazon as an e-book or in print. To see sample pages from the book or to learn more about the project, visit the author’s website.