Chilly Earth Days Are Going Out of Style

Over the last 45 years, April 22 has been on a hot streak.

April 22, 2015

Back in 1970, when Earth Day made its debut, Americans were sporting bold prints, big collars, even bigger pant cuffs, and snazzy sideburns. Most of us are grateful those items are relics of the past, but there’s one thing we all will come to miss: cooler temperatures.

According to a new report from Climate Central, Earth Day temps over the last 45 years have been rising in the United States—and faster in some areas than others. As a whole, the contiguous 48 have gotten warmer by .45 degrees Fahrenheit per decade. (FYI: when it comes to climate, a little bump in degrees goes a long way.) The rising mercury, however, doesn’t treat each state equally. For instance, Iowa, Missouri, and Florida have only increased by about .30 degrees per decade, about the same as the global average. Temps in New Mexico, Arizona, and Delaware, meanwhile, have risen around .60 degrees every ten years.

What will Earth Day look like in 2060, 45 years from now? It’s hard to say. But I’d guess that we’ll see fewer jackets—velour or otherwise—at this time of year.

onEarth provides reporting and analysis about environmental science, policy, and culture. All opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the policies or positions of NRDC. Learn more or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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