Report: U.S. West warming fastest
Mar 28,2008 00:00 by UPI

LOS ANGELES - The U.S. West is warming faster than any other region of the country and faster than Earth in general, researchers say.

In an analysis of 50 scientific studies, the Rocky Mountain Climate Organization and the Natural Resources Defense Counsel concluded that Western states experienced greater warming than the rest of the world from 2003-07, the Los Angeles Times reported Thursday.

During the five-year period studied, the world was on average 1 degree Fahrenheit warmer than its 20th century average, the researchers said. During the same period, 11 Western states were, on average, 1.7 degrees warmer.

The Rocky Mountain Climate Organization is a coalition of local governments, businesses and non-profit organizations.

The report, released Thursday, reflects a "growing consensus among scientists who study the West that climate change is no longer an abstraction," said Brad Udall, director of Western Water Assessment at the University of Colorado.

Udall told the Times that data suggest the West will warm about 1 1/2 times faster than the global average because it features large, arid areas some distance away from slow-warming oceans.

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