Special Report

Places Where the Weather Is Getting Worse Because of Climate Change

Detailed findings and methodology

The annual average temperature in the United States has increased by 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit over the past 115 years and is expected to rise an additional 2.5 degrees by 2050, according to the U.S. Global Change Research Program. This has led to increased drought, more frequent wildfires, and other consequences that will become increasingly difficult to prevent. 

Areas with already extreme climates tend to be more susceptible to climate change and even more extreme weather events. The Southwestern United States, for example — the driest and hottest part of the country — is getting hotter and drier, leading to increased drought and wildfires.

In other parts of the country, global warming has led to rising sea levels and increased evaporation, ultimately leading to increased precipitation. Last year, heavy rainfalls along the Illinois, Missouri, Arkansas, and Mississippi River corridors have led to substantial flooding throughout the Midwest, leading to substantial property damage and dozens of deaths

To find where weather is getting worse because of climate change, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed regions in the United States where there is mounting evidence of an association between climate change and recent extreme weather events. 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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