BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Researchers at UMass Amherst say this past January was the state's warmest on record. The Climate System Research Center temperatures were more than nine degrees above normal across Massachusetts on average.
Records were also broken in every other New England state. The January temperature average was well above freezing in both Boston and Worcester. Scientists at the Center say a look at the history books suggests the state hasn't seen a warmer January since at least 1837, but records don't go back that far.
The deviation from normal temperatures was the worst in Northern New England. Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont all saw averages of more than ten degrees above normal. Michael Rawlins, the associate director of the Climate System Research Center, said this could be a sign of a worrying trend.
"It's really a warning sign that we're really altering our climate in profound ways and this is going to have impacts," he said. "Things that might die off in the wintertime or be impacted by freezing temperatures weren't this past year."
Rawlins said he believes this warming is not due to the natural cycle of climates that changes with the earth's orbit over thousands of years but instead is being caused by human activity.
"The warming we're seeing over the last one hundred years or so can't be explained by orbital changes."
WBZ's Nichole Davis (@NicholeDWBZ) reports.