Our Opinion: Mississippi is slowly warming


Given the beastly hot weather of the past few days, this may come as a surprise. But according to a review of federal weather data going back to 1895, Mississippi is right in the middle of the area where temperatures have been increasing at the lowest rate.

This week The Washington Post website featured a story about how warming temperatures are already affecting part of the United States. In some places, such as the East Coast from Maryland to Maine, average temperatures have risen 2 degrees or more. New Jersey and Long Island, in eastern New York, have seen much larger increases of 4 degrees.

The Post’s website included a color-coded map of temperature changes throughout the country between 1895 and 2018. If global warming is your thing, this map is worth a look.

The country’s historical trend was rising temperatures from 1895 to the 1930s, followed by a slight cooling until the 1970s, when temperatures started rising again.

One interesting theory holds that stronger environmental regulations on smokestacks and vehicle exhaust may have contributed to the recent increases. Industrial soot particles had damaging health effects, but they may have blocked some of the sun’s intensity.

The environment is better off without such pollution, and now temperatures are rising in many places. That’s why it’s a shock to see the map’s light tan and light blue colors in a belt from north Georgia west to Oklahoma and even parts of southeast Texas. This means the temperatures in these areas are not rising rapidly, and the website also allows readers to check the change of any county in America.

It would be fun for Mississippi to promote itself as showing the rest of the country how to prevent excessive warming. But there is a warning signal in the statistics.