Observed Climate Change and the Negligible Global Effect of Greenhouse-gas Emission Limits in the State of Virginia

By | February 22, 2011

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The observations we have detailed herein illustrate that climate variability from year-to-year and decade-to-decade plays a greater role in Virginia’s climate than any long-term trends. Such short-term variability will continue dominating Virginia’s climate into the future.

At the century timescale, Virginia’s climate shows no statically significant trend in statewide average annual temperature, statewide total annual precipitation, or in the frequency and/or severity of droughts. The same is true for tropical cyclones impacting Virginia and the United States — there is a great degree of annual and decadal variability that can be traced long into the past, but no 20th century trends in frequency, intensity, or damage (when adjusted for demographic changes).

Global sea levels are rising at a pace that is not dissimilar to that experienced and adapted to during the 20th century.