Pacific Northwest climate trends

The University of Washington Climate Impacts Group has built a new visualization tool for the state climatologist, which makes it easier than before to explore the whole climate record for Washington and some data for neighboring US states. The data itself is nothing new,  but being able to explore it can help to get a handle on what’s going on.  I rather arbitrarily picked my life to date as the range to compare, and got the sobering result that every single monitoring station has registered an increase in temperature since I was born; most statistically significant.

A map of Washington, Oregon, Idaho and western Montana, showing temperature increases at every station, and line charts for each state showing the overall trend

Of course, there’s no scientific basis for picking that particular range, but I wasn’t cherry-picking either (I’d have picked 1985-2015 if that were my goal). I just wanted dates that felt personally meaningful, and even as someone who considers myself relatively well-informed about climate change the sheer scale of the trend was breathtaking.

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