Forecasting Change: 52nd annual Earth Day sees planet continuing to heat up

Warming most extreme in colder climates

Earth (Pixabay)

ORLANDO, Fla. – Happy Earth Day! It’s a day—April 22—when we celebrate the planet we live on. This Friday marks the 52-year anniversary of the first Earth Day celebration back in 1970. Back then the focus of the event was “Invest in Our Planet.” The war in Vietnam was raging and the there was also a focus on peace. At the time we had no EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), there was no such thing as the Clean Air Act, no Clean Water Act, no way to stop fluorocarbons and no Paris Agreement.

The truth is we have come a long way. The self-evident reality is we still have a long way to go.

Check out the graphic below that shows the warming at all levels since 1970. The U.S. is now 2.6 degrees hotter than we were in 1970. Florida is right up there with a warming of 2.5 degrees, while Orlando has warmed 1.5 degrees.

Since 1970

And we are not alone. This map shows the U.S. The bottom line is there is no place that has cooled. And some places have really gotten hotter. The obvious red flag is in Alaska, where they have warmed 4.3 degrees in the last 52 years.

U.S. Warming

In the future, controlling emissions, better building codes and better use of our agriculture areas will be needed to stop this warming. We have addressed all these issues in previous Forecasting Change editions and we will continue to cover these issues in the future.

For now, please enjoy our nice weather this weekend. Take a moment this April 22 and think of ways to take better care of yourself, each other and our Earth.

About the Author:

Tom Sorrells is News 6's Emmy award winning chief meteorologist. He pinpoints storms across Central Florida to keep residents safe from dangerous weather conditions.