Global warming effect on the U.S. climate

Andrey Kamenov

Andrey Kamenov, Ph.D. Probability and Statistics

It seems that new U.S. President Donald Trump doesn’t believe in global warming. At least, he has made clear his intent to undo some, if not all, of President Obama’s climate change policies. But just how important is climate change? And does global warming affect the country?

Of course, the implications of any climate change go far beyond a simple change in temperature. But this change is something one can measure directly, so it should definitely be a place to start. The most complete data on the topic is provided by the PRISM climate group (see the link at the bottom of the page).

First, let’s explain what the numbers in the PRISM dataset mean. Each month, they calculate an average of daily temperature maximums as well as minimums. These are called monthly max and min respectively. Most of the time, we’ll deal with the mean, which is exactly the average of two numbers.

Average temperature in the U.S.

Let’s see how mean monthly temperatures changed in four decades. We will also find out whether the rate of change is large enough to be statistically significant. For this, we will utilize the Mann-Kendall test — see the link at the bottom of the page for details.

According to this test, the seasonally adjusted temperature data show an increase of exactly 0.6 degrees. Our test confirms that this rate of change is large enough to be statistically significant.

It also shows that climate change affects colder months more significantly. While monthly maximums have only increased by 0.3 degrees, the minimums have gone up by 0.9 degrees.

Of course, for a country so large, we cannot measure the climate change entirely by a single number (or even three numbers). Indeed, it appears that some states are virtually unaffected by a temperature increase. At the same time, the effect is much more severe in others.

Just look at the map:

Change in monthly temperature by state

There is a statistically significant positive trend in average temps almost everywhere. The only exception is the large yellow spot in the center of the map (Oklahoma and Arkansas, along with all the states to the north).

Most of the states are seeing temperatures slowly climbing at a rate from 0.2 to 0.5 degrees per decade. Especially high numbers are observed in New Jersey and Vermont in particular. Another one of the most affected states is New York at 0.4 degrees.



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About Andrey Kamenov

Andrey Kamenov

Andrey Kamenov, Ph.D. Probability and Statistics

Andrey Kamenov is a data scientist working for Advameg Inc. His background includes teaching statistics, stochastic processes and financial mathematics in Moscow State University and working for a hedge fund. His academic interests range from statistical data analysis to optimal stopping theory. Andrey also enjoys his hobbies of photography, reading and powerlifting.

Other posts by Andrey Kamenov:

7 thoughts on “Global warming effect on the U.S. climate”

  1. All this article states is that temperatures appear to be rising . This is no news, considering geological data over time, and even evidence of climate changing based on archeological data and findings worldwide. I think Trump believes in global warming, it’s just that he’s not buying the crap about man’s contribution – which I think Trump is correct. It’s crap.

    1. You would probably be the guy who goes on an all applesauce diet to cure cancer if you had it instead of going to get professional medical treatment. Or do you pick and chose what science you believe in too just because you don’t understand it fully?

  2. This is good data ruined by partisan rhetoric. Yes climates change over time, but human actions are accelerating the change. It is ridiculous to think that we are not. It is also ill informed to think the Paris Accord was an equal agreement. If you were to read what the countries actually agreed to you would also see it as an intent without a result.

  3. This is all bullshit written by scientists who need a job. Of course the climate changes. always has, always will. There are stone age marine fossils in North Dakota, you fools. No factories or SUV’s Know why they call it GREENLAND? Because it used to be a lush green island covered in plants. Those darn Romans and their torches ruined it for all of us.

  4. Moderation by whom? More scientists who need their research jobs? Me thinks you are all jokesters.

    1. Implying scientist would be out of a job if climate change were false. You know everything in existence is explained and studied by science I doubt they would have trouble finding another research job.

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