Dec 26, 2019 - Energy & Environment

The Atlantic Ocean and states in the Northeast are warming dramatically

New York City skyline before a storm.

Storm clouds on the skyline of Manhattan in New York City before a powerful storm brought nasty wind gusts Photo: Kena Betancur/VIEWpress

States in the Northeast are warming more over the long and short-term than other U.S. regions, according to a USA Today analysis of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration data.

Why it matters: The changes have manifested in the unusual appearance of warm-water fish off the New England coast, the warming of the Great Lakes, and higher ocean temperatures, which influence coastal weather and push snowfall farther inland.

By the numbers: Long-term data shows Rhode Island's average temperature increased by 3.64 degrees from its average in the 20th century, according to NOAA data going back to 1895.

  • New Jersey is 3.49 degrees warmer, while Connecticut is up by 3.22 degrees; Maine, 3.17; Massachusetts, 3.05; and New Hampshire, 2.93.
  • In the short term, Delaware and New Jersey tied for the largest increase in temperature at 3 degrees. Rhode Island, Connecticut, Arizona, California and Florida all followed.

The bottom line: The Atlantic Ocean is warming dramatically, scientists concluded, possibly as a result of climate change.

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