Sierra Summit

Conversations and observations about California's mountains

October 15, 2008
Feeling the Heat - New report says West warming rapidly
A report released today by the non-profit group Environment California says that 2007 was the 10th warmest year on record in the United States and that the mountain West, in particular, experienced above-average temperatures. 

In Reno, Nevada - on the eastern edge of the Sierra Nevada - the average 2007 temperature of 55.3 degrees  was four degrees higher than the 30-year average temperature (1971 to 2000), according to the report. 

Nightime lows are rising, too. In Reno, the average minimum temperature last year was 40.7 degrees - more than five degrees higher than the 1971 to 2000 average, the report said.

Warmer nights are a particular concern in mountain regions, where rising temperatures mean more rain and less snow and trigger earlier melting of snow in general. "Worldwide minimum temperatures - the lowest temperatures recorded on a given day, usually at night - are increasing at nearly twice the pace of maximum temperatures," the report said. 

The report, titled Feeling the Heat: Global Warming and Rising Temperatures in the United States, is available online at:

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About Sierra Summit

The Author
Tom Knudson lives in the Sierra Nevada and travels widely throughout the range. His hobbies include fly-fishing, backpacking and cross-country skiing. He is the recipient of numerous journalistic awards, including two Pulitzer Prizes, one for a 1992 Sacramento Bee series "Sierra in Peril," a watershed work about environmental threats to the mountain range. E-mail Tom at

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