US west warming faster than rest of the world

The American west is heating up at nearly twice the rate of the rest of the world, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) said on Friday.

The environmental group found the average temperature in the 11-state western region of the US from 2003 to 2007 was 0.94 degrees Celsius higher than the historical average over the twentieth century, Reuters reported. The global average increase for the same period was 0.55 degrees Celsius.

"Global warming is hitting the west hard," said Theo Spencer of the NRDC. "It is already taking an economic toll on the region’s tourism,
 recreation, skiing, hunting and fishing activities."

The report adds that since 2000, the US west has seen US$2.7 billion in crop loss claims due to drought.

See full story