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Weather Talk: Warming climate evident in data

FARGO, N.D. — More record highs are likely the next few days to add to last Friday’s record high of 46 degrees.

Nationwide this year so far, high temperature records have been broken at a 3-1 ratio over low temperature records. In 2016, the ratio was 5-1 nationwide.

The present warm weather trend is due to several short-term factors, including last winter’s El Niño, but the warming climate is evident in the data.

So far in the 21st Century, the ratio of record highs to record lows across America is approximately 2-1. The warming trend, including this ratio of records, has been ongoing for at least 100 years. By decade since the early 1900s, only during the 1960s and 1970s did record lows outpace record highs across the Unites States.

Not all of this warming is the result of the burning of fossil fuels. Most climatologists agree that the warming prior to the 1960s was largely natural while an increasing portion since the 1970s is of human origin.

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