Growing Hotter in the West September 12, 2008 : 11:34 AM

According to a new report from the Rocky Mountain Climate Organization the western United States is heating up twice as fast as the rest of the world.

“For the five-year period 2003-2007 the average temperature in the Colorado River Basin, which stretches from Wyoming to Mexico, was 2.2 degrees Fahrenheit hotter than the historical average for the 20th Century. The temperature rise was more than twice the global average increase of 1.0 degree during the same period. The average temperature increased 1.7 degrees in the entire 11-state western region.”
The West is one of the fastest growing regions of the country and the climate crisis will play a critical role in its development. As temperatures continue to rise, draughts and water shortages will be come more common, inhibiting further growth.
“We are seeing signs of the economic impacts throughout the West,” according to the author, Stephen Saunders. “Since 2000 we have seen $2.7 billion in crop loss claims due to drought. Global warming is harming valuable commercial salmon fisheries, reducing hunting activity and revenues, and threatening shorter and less profitable seasons for ski resorts.”

These states will also be critical in our efforts to Repower America. The bright sunshine of the American west can produce enormous quantities to of energy to power our cities, without harmful climate crisis causing pollution.