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Free Online Tool Shows How Climate Change Influences Today’s Temperatures Across the US

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Heat wave by heat wave, scientists have become confident in their ability to see the powerful influence of climate change behind unprecedented high temperatures in recent years.

A free online tool now estimates in real time the effects of greenhouse gases on US temperatures over the last 24 hours and up to two days in advance.

The research nonprofit Climate Central, which is based in Princeton, New Jersey, began work on its new Climate Shift Index last summer, after several years of discussion among scientists that automated analysis should be possible.“We wanted something that could make a statement about any temperature, ordinary temperatures, cool temperatures,” said Andrew Pershing, director of climate science at Climate Central.The Climate Shift Index shows how a day’s high and low temperatures for any US location compare to its climate, pre-warming.

The tool rates daily temperatures on a color-coded scale that ranges from -5 to 5. Positive numbers, 1 through 5, are the multiple by which climate change has made a given temperature more likely in a certain location on that day.

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