Reno: Hotter than ever
References to Reno, and its significantly warming temperatures, are strewn throughout a new climate change report by Environment America Research & Policy called Feeling the Heat: Global Warming and Rising Temperatures in the United States.
Worldwide, 2007 was the second hottest year on record, according to the report, which was peer reviewed by the Union of Concerned Scientists and funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts and Energy Foundation. That same year, the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said evidence of global warming is “unequivocal” and largely due to human activities.
The EA study compared temperature data for 2000-2007 with the historical average of the preceding 30 years (1971-2000). Data was collected from 255 weather stations in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.
Key local findings (all degrees are in Fahrenheit):
• In Reno, the average temperature was 4 degrees above the historical average. This was one of the most above-normal average temperatures in the country.
• Despite the many electric blankets being pulled out this time of year, Reno’s nights have been getting warmer. The average minimum temperature for the city was 5.5 degrees higher in 2007 than the historical average and 5.3 degrees higher for 2000-2007.
• Reno had 81 days where temperatures reached above 90 degrees in 2007, which is 28 days more than the average. Elko, Ely and Winnemucca also had over 20 more days than usual of 90-plus degree weather.
Key general findings:
• In the United States, 2007 was the 10th warmest year on record.
• Energy-related carbon dioxide emissions grew by 1.6 percent in 2007. Between 1990-2007, total U.S. carbon emissions from energy use increased by about 19 percent.
• Since the Industrial Revolution through 2005, the United States emitted about 28 percent of the CO2 released into the earth’s atmosphere. The next largest contributors, Russia and China, were each responsible for 8 percent of global historic emissions, though China’s emissions are currently surpassing those of the United States.
The Environment America report stated: “The latest climate science tells us that the United States and the world must break its dependence on fossil fuels and transition rapidly to 100 percent clean, renewable energy if we hope to avoid the most catastrophic effects of global warming.”
To read the full report, visit www.environmentamerica.org/reports.