Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

September 23, 2019

Eco RI News posted an article on how the smallest state by land area in the United States is heating up faster than the other Lower 48 states. Researchers at the NE CASC predicted this reality nearly three years ago. 

A recent report found that Rhode Island is heating up faster than any of the other Lower 48 states and has already passed the U.N. threshold of 2 degrees Celsius of warming. Other parts of the Northeast follow not far behind. Regional climate modeling remains crucial because of this phenomenon: global temperature averages don't necessarily reflect average temperatures locally because the impacts of climate change are unevenly distributed. The reason for this accelerated warming in Rhode Island and the Northeast is still being investigated. A common hypothesis is that the rapid rate of warming in the Gulf of Maine is contributing to warming on the East Coast. 

Nearly three years ago, researchers at the NE CASC found that the Northeast was projected to warm faster than any other region in the United States. Their 2017 study included climate models that projected that when the global temperature average reaches 2 degrees Celsius of warming, the Northeast will have already reached 3 degrees Celsius of warming.