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E-M:/ Temperatures in Michigan on the Rise - New Report Finds



For immediate release:                                                                          Contact:

10:00am, July 24, 2007                                                                        Daylan Dufelmeier

(734)-662 9797

                       

New Report: Temperatures in Michigan on the Rise

 

Ann Arbor, MI—The average temperature in Detroit was 2.7°F above average in 2006, according to a new report released today by Environment Michigan Policy & Research Center.  This warmer-than-normal weather is indicative of what Michigan can expect with continued global warming.

 

“Throw out the record books, because global warming is raising temperatures in Michigan and across the country,” said Environment Michigan Policy & Research Center Field Organizer Daylan Dufelmeier.  “The long-term forecast is for more of the same unless we quickly and significantly reduce global warming pollution from power plants and passenger vehicles,” continued Dufelmeier.

 

According to the National Climatic Data Center, the 2006 summer and 2006 overall were the second warmest on record for the lower 48 states.  2007 is on track to be the second warmest year on record globally.   

 

To examine recent temperature patterns in the United States, Environment Michigan Policy & Research Center compared temperature data for the years 2000-2006 from 255 weather stations located in all 50 states and Washington, DC with temperatures averaged over the 30 years spanning 1971-2000, or what scientists call the “normal” temperature. 

 

Key findings include:

 

           Sault Ste. Marie above-average temperatures in 2006 are part of a broader warming trend since 2000.  Between 2000 and 2006, the average temperature was 4°F above the 30-year average in Sault Ste Marie.  Nationally, the average temperature during this seven year period was at least 0.5°F above normal at 87% of the locations studied.

           Over the course of 2006, Del Rio Texas experienced 162 days where the temperature hit at least 90°F, 33 days more than the historical average.  Heat waves have serious implications for human health, causing heat stroke, heat exhaustion, and even death. 

           Reno Nevada experienced average minimum temperatures — the lowest temperatures recorded on a given day, usually at night — of 5.5°F above normal in 2006 and 9.7°F above normal during the 2006 summer.  Warmer nighttime temperatures exacerbate the public health effects of heat waves, since people need cooler nighttime temperatures to recover from excessive heat exposure during the day.

 

In April 2007, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change found that North America could experience significant water stress, forest fires, and “an increased number, intensity, and duration of heat waves” as temperatures continue to rise. 

 

“Scientists are sounding alarm bells about the impacts of continued global warming,” stated Mike Shriberg.  “The good news is that those same scientists say we can avoid the worst effects of global warming by taking bold action now to reduce global warming pollution,” continued Shriberg.  

 

To avoid the worst consequences of global warming, the United States must halt increases in global warming emissions now, cut emissions by at least 15-20% by 2020, and slash emissions by at least 80% by 2050. 

 

“The better news is that we have the technology at our fingertips to cut global warming pollution and forge a cleaner, more secure energy future,” said Scott Desilva.

 

The United States could substantially reduce its global warming pollution by using existing technologies to make power plants, businesses, homes, and cars more efficient and generate more electricity from clean, renewable sources, such as wind and solar power. 

 

Congress is poised to consider global warming legislation this fall.  The Safe Climate Act in the U.S. House and the Global Warming Pollution Reduction Act in the U.S. Senate are the only bills that would reduce pollution to levels that scientists say are needed to prevent the worst effects of global warming. 

 

“The heat is on Congress to take decisive action to curb global warming,” stated Daylan Dufelmeier.  Environment Michigan commends Congressman Conyers for co-sponsoring the Safe Climate Act and calls on the rest of the Michigan delegation to follow his example and make Michigan a leader in fighting global warming. 

 

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Environment Michigan Policy & Research Center is a statewide, citizen-based environmental advocacy organization.