Climate Change in Wyoming

Climate Change In Wyoming

On a per-person basis, Wyoming emits more carbon dioxide than any other state or any other country: 276,000 pounds (125,000 kg) of it per capita a year, because of burning coal, which provides nearly all of the state's electrical power.

Over the last century, the average temperature in Laramie, Wyoming, has increased 1.5°F (0.8°C), and precipitation has decreased by up to 20% in many parts of the state.

Over the next century, climate in Wyoming may change even more. For example, based on projections made by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and results from the United Kingdom Hadley Centre’s climate model (HadCM2), a model that accounts for both greenhouse gases and aerosols, by 2100 temperatures in Wyoming could increase by 4°F (2°C) in spring and fall (with a range of 2-7°F), 5°F (2.5°C) in summer (with a range of 2-8°F), and 6°F (3°C) in winter (with a range of 3-11°F). Precipitation is estimated to decrease slightly in summer (with a range of 0-10%), increase by 10% in spring and fall (with a range of 5-20%), and increase by 30% in winter (with a range of 10-50%). Other climate models may show different results, especially regarding estimated changes in precipitation. The amount of precipitation on extreme wet or snowy days in winter is likely to increase. The frequency of extreme hot days in summer would increase because of the general warming trend. It is not clear how the severity of storms might be affected, although an increase in the frequency and intensity of winter storms is possible.

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