The ecology, economy, and cultural heritage of New England is grounded in its seasonal climate, and this seasonality is now changing as the world warms due to human activity. This research uses temperature data from the U.S. Historical Climatology Network (USHCN) to analyze annual and seasonal temperature changes in the New England region of the United States from 1900 to 2020 at the regional and state levels. Results show four broad trends: (1) New England and each of the states (annually and seasonally) have warmed considerably between 1900 and 2020; (2) all of the states and the region as a whole show three general periods of change (warming, cooling, and then warming again); (3) the winter season is experiencing the greatest warming; and (4) the minimum temperatures are generally warming more than the average and maximum temperatures, especially since the 1980s. The average annual temperature (analyzed at the 10-year and the five-year average levels) for every state, and New England as a whole, has increased greater than 1.5 °C from 1900 to 2020. This warming is diminishing the distinctive four-season climate of New England, resulting in changes to the region’s ecology and threatening the rural economies throughout the region.
Keywords: New England; temperature change; USHCN; seasonal analysis; climate change