AbstractUsing state-level monthly heating degree day (HDD) data, reconstructed per-capita natural gas (NGr) consumption records for each state of the continental U.S. were calculated during 1895-2014 using linear regressions. The regressed monthly NGr values estimate the effects of 20th and early 21st century climate variation on per-capita natural gas usage, assuming a modern (1990-2013) consumption environment. Using these extended consumption records, the hypothetical effects of climate on past, current, and future NG use are estimated. By controlling for non-climatic consumption effects, these extended reconstructions provide estimates of the sensitivity of NG consumption to historical climate variation, particularly long-term warming trends, occurring before the period of available consumption records. After detrending, the reconstructions are used to form improved estimates of inter-annual NG variation under current climate conditions. Finally, given estimates of each state’s current consumption climatology and long-term trends in per-capita consumption and current population trends, the net effect of warming and increasing population on future consumption is estimated. Significant long-term negative trends in per-capita NG consumption are found in western and northeastern states and Florida, while southeastern consumption effects reflect a multi-decadal temperature cycle. Climate related consumption effects found here are generally consistent with previous studies, with long-term trend effects limited to less than 12%, and multi-decadal regime effects limited to less than 9%. Given the stronger positive effects of increasing population on total state natural gas consumption, reduced per-capita use associated with warming trends has a weak moderating effect on estimates of projected total consumption in 2043.
Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology – American Meteorological Society
Published: Dec 19, 2017
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