Baby, it's really freaking hot outside. And it's only getting hotter, according to the National Climatic Data Center.
Texas has landed itself toward the top of another undesirable list, according to a recent federal climate data study by the Associated Press. The AP analyzed weather trends from the National Climatic Data Center, and found that Texas is one of the fastest warming states in the continental United States. The hottest months are currently sitting around 2.8 degrees hotter last year than they were in 1984.
So it's little surprise to know that we Texans can expect, by the year 2100, around 150 days per year of 90-plus degrees weather. Researchers say that's likely due to increased drought conditions in the southwest United States, which exacerbate and raise already high summer temperatures.
In 2011, the United States was responsible for 5.5 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions, up from 5.1 billion tons in 1992. We are a leading contributor to carbon emissions, second only to China.
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The Obama administration, as part of a sweeping move to reduce climate change, released a plan on Monday to reduce national carbon emission levels by 30 percent by 2030. As part of that initiative, Texas was informed it must reduce carbon emissions by 39 percent.
Predictably, this sent Governor Rick Perry into a fact-light fit about Texas' allegedly improving environment. From his air-conditioned Austin office, Perry released a statement in response to Obama's initiative, calling it "the most direct assault yet on the energy providers that employ thousands of Americans," and defending the state's environmental record:
The air Texans breathe today is cleaner than it was in 2000, even as our population has grown by nearly 5.2 million people. Furthermore:
- Over the last 10 years, Texas has added more than twice the jobs of any other state; statewide, from 2000-2012, nitrogen oxide levels from industrial sources were reduced by 62.5 percent; and from 2000-2012 ozone levels were reduced by 23 percent, a 12 percent greater reduction than the national average.