Earth Day: One of the most important in the world


Saturday marks Earth Day...number 53 since its inception on April 22, 1970! All holidays and special days are intent on bringing awareness to whatever subject and bringing that awareness to our warming planet could not be more important than right now. When you consider that March of this year was the fourth warmest on record keep in mind that the years that beat it all occurred recently: 2016 (warmest), 2020 (second) and 2017 (third) were warmer.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Organization (NOAA) offers this graphic of extreme weather around the world just last month:

courtesy NOAA

While these are ALL highlights, they note that sea ice hit near record lows and Tropical Storm Freddy in the Indian Ocean lasted longer than any tropical storm on record as it crossed the ocean and a storm can’t last without plenty of warm water. The full NOAA report is right here. According to NCEI’s Global Annual Temperature Outlook, it’s near certain (>99.0% chance) that 2023 will rank among the 10 warmest years on record, with a 96% chance this year will rank among the top-five warmest.

NOAA also tracks the increase in Carbon Dioxide and I find it interesting to note how much more there is in the atmosphere since the year I was born, 1960.

courtesy NOAA

The amounts have jumped 100 parts per million, from around 314 in 1960 to 414 currently and looking at the line above that looks like a steady increase. However, look at the jump that began in 1960 compared to the 200 years before:

courtesy NOAA

The point of this graphic is that once we started with industrial emissions, the increase REALLY began. The key word is “we”--you can only put so much warming on “natural variability.”

Not all is lost! NOAA also has wonderful resources on what we can do to to achieve a Climate-Ready Nation. Part of the solution is supporting efforts to save our oceans:

Credit: NOAA National Ocean Service

Along with everyday changes we can make:

courtesy NOAA National Ocean Service

If you’re looking for ways to honor Earth Day, we have lots of activities listed for the weekend on Galveston is also celebrating with the First Chalk Competition Saturday from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. at MarMo Plaza while Pearland has changed locations to the Pavillion at Centennial Park.

Look for storms Thursday and Friday, but the fabulous weather this weekend will remind you of just why we love this planet!


Email me with comments and questions!

About the Authors:

KPRC 2's chief meteorologist with four decades of experience forecasting Houston's weather.

Amanda Cochran is an Edward R. Murrow award-winning journalist. She specializes in Texas features, consumer and business news and local crime coverage.