Extreme Temperature Diary- Wednesday April 20th, 2022/Main Topic: Counting Down to Earth Day…New Climate Central Warming Statistics

The main purpose of this ongoing blog will be to track planetary extreme, or record temperatures related to climate change. Any reports I see of ETs will be listed below the main topic of the day. I’ll refer to extreme or record temperatures as ETs (not extraterrestrials).😉

Main Topic: Down to Earth Day…New Climate Central Warming Statistics

Dear Diary. My how time flies. It seems like yesterday that I was writing my annual post for Earth Day 2021, and we are about to see Earth Day 2022 on the 22nd of this month. Earth Day has been a special day for all environmentalists trying to protect the health of our planet so that both it and all flours and fauna, including us humans, will live on a bright, green planet for myriads of generations to come.

This year I’ll be celebrating the lead up to Earth Day on not one but three posts. For the first post let’s see how much the United States has warmed since the first Earth Day in 1970 because of greenhouse gas pollution, using fresh statistics calculated by Climate Central released today:


Earth Day: U.S. Warming Rankings

APR 20, 2022

Ahead of Earth Day, we’re taking stock of widespread warming in 246 U.S. locations, 49 states, and the nation since 1970.

See full multimedia package here >>KEY CONCEPTS | POTENTIAL STORY ANGLES


  • The U.S. has warmed by 2.6°F since the first Earth Day was celebrated on April 22, 1970.
  • 49 states and 99% of 246 U.S. cities analyzed by Climate Central have warmed since 1970. 
  • The fastest-warming city was Reno, Nev. and the fastest-warming state was Alaska. 
  • Continued warming can harm people and the planet, but there are many ways to cut heat-trapping emissions from energy, transportation, agriculture, and more.  

Warming at all levels

U.S. Warming since 1970

Happy Earth Day! 
Since the first Earth Day 52 years ago, environmental science, policy, and public awareness have transformed in the U.S. and around the world. Earth Day is a time to celebrate this progress and take stock of current challenges—including climate change. 

The concentration of heat-trapping CO2 in the atmosphere has increased nearly 30% since the first Earth Day in 1970. And when CO2 increases, temperatures follow suit. How has rising CO2 affected temperatures in the U.S.?

Widespread U.S. warming since the first Earth Day. 
Climate Central analyzed trends in annual average temperature in 246 locations, all 49 states (Hawaii was excluded; see methodology), and the entire nation since 1970 and found that:

  • The U.S. is 2.6 °F warmer today than it was in 1970. 
    • For context, 2.6 °F is very close to the global warming limit of 2.7 °F (1.5 °C) that 196 countries, including the U.S., have agreed to pursue. 
  • All 49 states analyzed have warmed by at least 1.8 °F since the first Earth Day. 
    • Alaska was the fastest-warming state by far, due to its high latitude. Melting glaciers and permafrost are contributing to sea level rise and greenhouse gas release. 
  • 99% (244) of 246 U.S. cities analyzed have warmed since 1970. 
    • 69% (170) of locations have experienced at least 2 °F of warming.
    • Many of the fastest-warming locations were in the Southwest—a region vulnerable to droughts and heat extremes, which are likely to worsen with climate change. 

The fastest-warming U.S. cities and states based on the increase in annual average temperature since 1970 were:

Fastest-warming cities (°F)Fast-warming states (°F)
Reno, Nev. (+7.7°)Alaska (+4.3°)
Las Vegas, Nev. (+5.9°)Delaware (+3.5°)
El Paso, Texas (+5.1°)New Mexico (+3.5°)
Erie, Pa. (+4.7°)New Jersey (+3.4°)
Tucson, Ariz. (+4.6°)Arizona (+3.3°)
Chattanooga, Tenn. (+4.6°)Rhode Island (+3.2°)
Burlington, Vt. (+4.5°)Massachusetts (+3.2°)
Phoenix, Ariz. (+4.3°)Connecticut (+3.2°)
McAllen, Texas (+4.1°)Utah (+3.0°)
Helena, Mont. (+4.1°)Vermont (+3.0°)

Curbing emissions to celebrate Earth. 
Warming is one of many ways that continued emissions of heat-trapping gasses like CO2 impact our planet, our communities, and our food and water supplies. 

Recent IPCC reports review the escalating impacts of climate change on people and nature, and assess ways to limit global warming and minimize further harm to people and the planet.

These scientific reports make clear that staying within the globally-agreed warming limit of 3.6 °F (2 °C) will be an immense challenge—but that the benefits of limiting warming would likely outweigh the costs of mitigation. These reports also make clear that climate solutions already exist for every major economic sector—including energytransportation and agriculture.


How are people and organizations celebrating Earth Day in your area?
Use the “Find An Earth Day Event ” tool on the official Earth Day site to explore how people and organizations around the world are celebrating this year. You can narrow down the search by event type, location, and online vs in-person. Here is a link to Earth Day’s live webinar and a list of environmental education webinars

Where can I learn more about climate solutions? 
Search the Climate Matters Media Library for ‘Solutions,’ which includes research reports and local graphics on renewable energysustainable infrastructureelectric vehicles, and more. The most recent report from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change assesses climate change mitigation pathways in detail, along with reporting resources


The SciLine service500 Women Scientists or the press offices of local universities may be able to connect you with local scientists who have expertise on warming and environmental policy. The American Association of State Climatologists is a professional scientific organization composed of all state climatologists


  • Daniel Ruiz Carrascal, PhD
    Associate Research Scientist, Department of Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology
    Lecturer, Columbia Climate School, Columbia University
    Related expertise: climate science, hydrology, environmental health
    Available for interviews in Spanish
  • Christie Manning, PhD
    Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies and Director of Sustainability, Macalester College
    Related expertise: environmental psychology, sustainable behavior, climate & mental health


Local analyses used 1970-2021 data from the Applied Climate Information System. State and U.S. temperature data were obtained from NOAA/NCEI’s Climate at a Glance. A state trend for Hawaii was not calculated because it is not included in the NOAA/NCEI dataset. Trends are based on a mathematical linear trend line, beginning in 1970 for consistency between all 247 stations. However, for data summaries based on linear trends, only 246 stations are included due to large data gaps in Wheeling, W. Va.

Related Media

Growing Public Climate Concern in 2021

DEC 8, 2021

Along with 2021’s extreme heat, wildfires, hurricanes, and floods, we saw a remarkable increase in the American public’s understanding and concern about climate change.

2021 in Review: Global Temperature Rankings

JAN 13, 2022

2021 was the 6th hottest year on record for the planet.

The Inequality of City Heat

SEP 4, 2020

New studies are spotlighting and quantifying social, racial, and economic inequalities associated with disproportionate tree coverage in cities across the United States.


Use WeatherPower to bring wind and solar electricity generation into your forecasts, based on your local installed renewables capacity.

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  • Copyright © 2022 Climate Central.

Here are some “ET’s” recorded over the last couple of days and a hot forecast:

Here is some more March 2022 climatology:

Here is more climate and weather news from Wednesday:

(As usual, this will be a fluid post in which more information gets added during the day as it crosses my radar, crediting all who have put it on-line. Items will be archived on this site for posterity. In most instances click on the pictures of each tweet to see each article. The most noteworthy items will be listed first.)

Now here are some of today’s articles and notes on the horrid war on Ukraine:

(If you like these posts and my work please contribute via the PayPal widget, which has recently been added to this site. Thanks in advance for any support.) 

Guy Walton “The Climate Guy”

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