General Phil Sheridan, of Civil War and frontier fame, was reputed to have remarked that “if I owned all of Texas, and Hell, I’d rent out Texas and live in Hell.” But, if indications from a new interactive map released by The Nature Conservancy prove valid, Sheridan might well have spoken of Kansas instead.
Kansas will be the state most affected by rising temperatures attendant to global warming, according to an interactive map released by The Nature Conservancy, an environmental advocacy group with more than a million members and a long history of action to protect wildlife habitat (look here for Conservancy details).
The Nature Conservancy’s Climate Wizard uses the projections of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and concludes that, under a high emissions scenario, the state of Kansas would experience an increase of 10.4 degrees Fahrenheit in average annual temperatures, highest among all the states. Under the high emissions scenario, Kansas would be followed by Nebraska (10.3), Iowa (10.2), South Dakota (10.0), Oklahoma (9.9) and Missouri (9.9). Under a moderate emissions scenario, Kansas would be projected to experience a 9.1 degree average annual increase, while under a low emissions scenario, the increase would be 6.7 degrees. (Note also that, in the light of Sheridan’s flippant comment above, Texas will experience an increase of 9.2 degrees under the high emissions scenario — nearly as much as Kansas.)
For a one page introduction to the analysis and a brief discussion of its implications, see Climate Change: New Analysis Projects State-by-State Temperature Increases.
For details of methodology along with a ranked state-by-state listing and three maps, one for each emissions scenario (high, moderate and low) see this five page document.