Why some spots on the planet are heating up faster than others

“What are the fastest warming places on Earth and why are they warming so fast?” — John, Grass Valley, Calif.

John, did my editor pay you to ask this?

Just this month, several of my colleagues on The Washington Post’s climate team were awarded a Pulitzer Prize for their reporting on this exact question.

Their analysis of global climate data showed the planet is heating up unevenly. Globally, average temperatures are a little more than 1 degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer than in the preindustrial era. But roughly one-tenth of the world’s surface area has already experienced 2 degrees Celsius of warming — an amount that U.N. scientists say will trigger dangerous climate impacts. In the United States, more than 70 counties have passed that threshold.

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