Health Indicator Report of Climate Effects on Health: Temperature
Over the past century, global surface temperatures have increased, yet the warming is not consistent across the globe. Areas such as the southeast United States have actually seen cooler temperatures. Yet, when looking at the eight hottest years on record, seven of those years have occurred since 2001 (1). When looking at temperature change in the atmosphere, the troposphere (the level of atmosphere five to eight miles from the Earth's surface) has shown an increase in temperature since the 1970s. Yet the stratosphere (the level of atmosphere 9 to 14 miles from the Earth's surface) has cooled over this period of time (2). Climate experts have also studied whether temperature extremes are affected by climate change. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration stated that differences between maximum temperatures and minimum temperatures, known as the diurnal temperature range, have been diminishing for most of the planet since the mid-20th century. Minimum temperatures have increased more quickly than maximum temperatures, resulting in fewer extreme cold days and nights and a higher occurrence of extreme warm days and nights (1).
Map Not AvailableThe data are grouped by 2 or more dimensions. Maps can only be displayed when the data are grouped by a single geographical dimension. At some future point the site will provide a mechanism to choose or cycle through the different dimensions.
Temperature: Annual Average Maximum Heat Index in the Warm Season, Utah 2001-2019
NotesHeat index formula: https://www.wpc.ncep.noaa.gov/html/heatindex_equation.shtml. Data only includes temperature data during the months of May through September.
Data SourceNational Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Centers for Environmental Information
Data Interpretation IssuesOnly uses temperature readings from May through September.
DefinitionTemperature measurements over time have been the primary method of assessing the occurrence of climate change, with higher temperatures indicating warmth and lower temperatures indicating coolness.
Page Content Updated On 04/28/2021, Published on 06/08/2021