Special Report

Places Where Weather Is Getting Worse Because of Climate Change

Detailed Findings

Global warming is expected to have far reaching consequences. The ongoing reduction in sea ice will continue to increase sea levels. Already droughts and wildfires are plaguing many parts of the globe. And it is likely that extreme storms and weather as well as major flood events will become even more prevalent.

About half of the 7 to 8 inches of global average sea level rise since 1900 has occurred since 1993. While the Dust Bowl of the 1930s remains the most extreme drought and heat event in U.S. history, recent droughts have set records for intensity in parts of the United States, and both increasing drought and heavier rainfall have been projected for different parts of California. The January 2016 Blizzard dumped over 20 inches of snow on 21 million people in the Northeast United States, making the storm the fourth largest out of nearly 200 recorded in the region since 1900.

A warmer Earth can even help explain cold spells or unusually big snowfall. For example, the lack of ice on Lake Erie during the warm winter of 2006 (the first time the lake did not freeze over in its history) helped provide more evaporation from the lake, which led to above average snowfalls.

Exceptional weather and climate events of all kinds are included on this list of U.S. regions.


To identify the places in the United States where weather is getting worse because of climate change, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed regions in the United States where evidence has supported an association between climate change and exceptional weather events. The places within each region have recently documented record-breaking climate or weather events.

We spoke with multiple climate scientists and reviewed various data and sources. To be considered, places needed to be referenced in the findings of the U.S. Global Change Research Program Climate Science Special Report. We also considered global ocean surface temperatures from NASA, historical land temperature records from NOAA, reports by the Union of Concerned Scientists, and climate research published in the science journal Nature.

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