Apr 25, 2022 - News

Columbus keeps getting hotter — here's how much

Data: Climate Central/RCC-Acis.org/NCEI; Chart: Jacque Schrag/Axios

Earth Day has passed, but a warming planet is a year-round issue.

Driving the news: Columbus continues to get hotter. Annual average temperatures are up 3.7 degrees since the first Earth Day on April 22, 1970 — more than both the state and national averages, per a Climate Central analysis.

Why it matters: Central Ohio is booming, with several of the state’s fastest-growing counties adding tens of thousands of new residents. That could make the problem worse.

  • Nationally and globally, rising temperatures have been conclusively linked to human activities, such as the burning of fossil fuels for energy, Axios' Andrew Freedman writes.
  • Climate change is increasing the risk and severity of extreme weather events, including heat waves and heavy precipitation, according to a United Nations-sponsored report.

Yes, but: Columbus has a plan to be carbon neutral by 2050.

  • And we are in better shape than the fastest-warming city (Reno, Nevada, up 7.7 degrees) and fastest-warming state (Alaska, up 4.3 degrees).

The bottom line: It's getting hotter. And if that continues, the consequences to the planet and its people are dire.

  • The Climate Central report offers solutions, including wider adoption of wind and solar power and electric vehicles.

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