DENVER (CBS4) – Since the first Earth Day in 1970, the average annual temperature in Colorado has warmed an alarming 2.9 degrees. This exceeds the national average of 2.5 degrees over the last 49 years.
Meanwhile the change specifically in Denver has not been as significant but still notable with 1.5 degrees of warming. The lower number is largely contributed to a jolt in the climate records when the official weather observation station for Denver was moved from Stapleton Airport to DIA in the 1990s. DIA is located in a different microclimate and the effects of the Denver urban heat island are less at DIA compared to Stapleton.
Compared to other states, Colorado is in the top half of the nation when it comes the pace of warming since 1970. But other states in our region including Arizona and New Mexico have been warming even faster. No state in the country has warmest as much as Alaska.
Looking at other cities in Colorado, the Colorado Springs area has been warming more than Denver while Grand Junction has been warming less.
Click here for more information from Climate Central on how much the nation has warmed since the first Earth Day in 1970.