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New Jersey Is One of America’s Fastest-Warming States, Data Shows

New Jersey Is One of America’s Fastest-Warming States, Data Shows

While average annual temperatures across the country have increased by about 2.5 degrees since 1970, annual temperatures in New Jersey have increased by roughly 3.5 degrees, said Lauren Casey, a meteorologist with Climate Central, the nonprofit organization that gathered the temperature data.

According to the group’s findings, New Jersey is the third fastest warming state in the country.

A spokesman for the Department of Environmental Protection, which published a report in 2020 that also noted the state’s rapidly rising temperatures, said that the state is heating up faster than its neighbors because it is at the southern end of the Northeast region and because of its built-up cities. “Importantly,” he said, “land use patterns and development density in the state make for conditions that set up an urban heat-island effect.”

The heat-island phenomenon describes how cities, with all of their concrete and asphalt, soak up heat, making them several degrees warmer than surrounding areas. Newark, the most populated city in New Jersey, for example, can reach 100 degrees in the summer, while other spots in the state stay in the 90s.

Delaware, New Jersey’s mid-Atlantic neighbor, comes in second in Climate Central’s ranking of the fastest warming states, with a 3.6 degree increase between 1970 and last year. And Alaska, which extends into the Arctic, an area experiencing rapid snow and sea ice loss, comes in first, with an increase of over 4 degrees.

The Northeast has the fastest warming cluster of states in the country, the data from Climate Central shows. In addition to New Jersey, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine all made the top-10 list (New York comes in at No. 11). They all have experienced temperature increases of over 3 degrees, and are warming faster than sizzling spots like Arizona and Texas.

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