Our friend, the Sun. (Photo by Jalal Hameed Bhatti.)

Something weird started happening to the sun’s cycles in 1970.

(Is that the current argument against human-made global warming? Something about sun cycles? I can’t really keep up since it seems to change all the time.)

A new report from Climate Central finds that a general warming trend over the last 100 years has accelerated in the last 40. From their report:

We looked at average daily temperatures for the continental 48 states from 1912 to the present, and also from 1970 to the present and found:

  • Over the past 100 years, the top 10 states warmed 60 times faster than the bottom 10 (0.26°F per decade vs. 0.004°F per decade), when looking at average mean temperatures. During this timeframe, 45 states showed warming trends, although 21 were not statistically significant. Three states experienced a slight cooling trend.
  • Since 1970, warming began accelerating everywhere. The speed of warming across the lower 48 more than tripled, from 0.127°F per decade over the 100-year period, to 0.435°F per decade since 1970, while the gap between the fast and slowly warming states narrowed significantly; the 10 fastest warming states heated up just twice as fast, not 60 times as fast as the 10 slowest warming states (0.60°F vs. 0.30°F per decade). Over the past 42 years 17 states warmed more than half a degree F per decade.


Emphasis is ours; there’s a lot of information packed in that block of text. Or, if you prefer visuals: voila.

Looking at this map you’d think we’d be seeing a massive drought in Texas and horrifying forest fires in Colorado. You’d think we’d see those things!

Between 1970 and 2011 literally every state got warmer, with warming more pronounced in the upper Midwest, Northeast, and South.

Prior to 1970, some states saw no warming, even cooling — primarily in the Southeast. Nonetheless, the rate of warming has been such that over the past 100 years, 45 states grew warmer. Even states which were cooling (like Alabama and Georgia) saw dramatic temperature increases.

So throw this on the pile of overwhelmingly convincing evidence for broad-scale warming that has accelerated in correlation with increased atmospheric carbon dioxide levels.

And then let’s do something about those sun cycles.