You may or may not believe in global warming, but you can't deny Grand Junction is hotter than it's ever been.

I heard a local weatherman say this week the Grand Junction temperatures we are experiencing are 5 to 6 degrees above normal. However, that has nothing to do with this discussion. While it's been hotter than normal lately, Grand Valley weather in July was much milder than a year ago.

According to Weather Underground, in July Grand Junction had 20 days that were 95 degrees or warmer with 3 days that reached at least one hundred. One year ago it was a much different story when July brought 28 days that were at least 95 degrees, and 10 of those days reach at least 100.

A person could look at these numbers and scoff at the idea of global warming. When you look at the big picture, it's hard not to accept the fact that Grand Junction is warmer than it used to be.

Then there is this, federal scientists reported July was the hottest month ever recorded on planet Earth. Their report indicates the average global temperature is 1.7 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than it was in the 20th century.

What about Grand Junction and western Colorado?

Analysis of weather information from the last 100-plus years shows the Grand Valley as one of the fastest-warming regions in the United States.

According to weather data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Grand Junction is now 2 to 3 degrees Celsius warmer than it was at the beginning of the 20th century. That translates to an increase of 3.6 to 4.4 degrees Fahrenheit.

Washington Post/NOAA

Other "hot spots" in the country that have shown an increase of at least 2 degrees Celsius are in the northeast, southwest, and north-central parts of the country. There are some areas in the country that show basically no increase in average temperature, however, most of the nation is registering warmer.

Unless NOAA is lying to us, you can't argue with the fact that it's hotter in Grand Junction than it used to be. Whether or not the cause of the warming is man-made or attributable to natural phenomena is a debate that will rage on for generations to come.

[WASHINGTON POST]