EPA relaunches climate indicators websiteS. Himmelstein | May 14, 2021
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has relaunched its climate change indicators website for the public. The site, shuttered in 2017, compiles evidence of changes to climate reflected in rising temperatures, ocean acidity, sea level rise, river flooding, droughts, heat waves and wildfires.
The resource features an enhanced user experience with interactive data-exploration tools offering a closer look at graphs, maps and figures, along with an overview of the importance of indicators and how climate change can affect human health and the environment. The data indicate that U.S. heat waves have increased from an average of two per year in the 1960s to six per year in the 2010s, while sea levels have risen relative to land as high as 8 in on parts of the U.S. coastline since 1960. Another indicator, the average length of growing seasons, has increased an average of over two weeks in the 48 contiguous states since the early 1900s.
Tracking global temperature trends show that 2016 was the warmest year on record, 2020 was the second warmest, and 2001 to 2020 was the warmest decade on record since 1880, when thermometer-based observations began.