Thu 29 Dec 2022
WN: I have close relatives who for years have denied Anthropogenic Climate Disruption (ACD). Whatever one says, it cannot be denied that “freak” weather events have become the new normal, the world over. Even if ACD is not the sole cause, there is no doubt anymore of its at least partial role; so surely drastic cutting back of fossil fuel burning alone would hugely impact for good the worldwide phenomenon . . .
The 2004 film The Day After Tomorrow was based on the idea that the main north Atlantic Ocean current could slow and then reverse, superstorms would flash-freeze the northern hemisphere and a new ice age would abruptly descend. It was dismissed as “profoundly silly”, “a ludicrous popcorn thriller” informed by “lousy science”, and some scientists argued it depicted meteorological phenomena “as occurring over days, instead of decades or centuries”.
Storm Elliott, the “bomb cyclone” that hit the US over the holidays, should have made some of those critics uncomfortable. Temperatures in places plunged in just a few minutes as one of the greatest North American storms ever recorded swept down from the Arctic to Mexico, sometimes at hurricane speed. It brought death, chaos and misery for tens of millions of people.
…Less noticed than Storm Elliott but possibly just as significant were the disastrous Christmas floods in the Philippines and Brazil, and the worryingly warm holiday period experienced across much of Europe in the past 10 days. Temperatures of more than 26C were recorded in France, Spain and Italy, with many Alpine ski resorts closed for lack of snow as rain fell and temperatures climbed 15C above normal. Traditionally, it’s Australians who spend Christmas on the beach. Soon it might be anyone.
Christian Aid this week estimated that 2022’s 10 worst climate disasters alone cost more than $165bn, but that is likely to be nothing if action to adapt our infrastructure and economies is not taken urgently.
Next year is widely predicted by meteorologists to bring more of the same intensification of weather. The Met Office says 2022 will be the newest warmest year on record. Greenland’s glaciers have been found to be melting far faster than previously thought, heatwaves are becoming more common and storms are expected to become more powerful as the oceans continue to warm.
Please click on: 2023 Already Looks Like a Disaster Movie