Last year was certainly filled with extreme climate disasters. Record-breaking temperatures and shocking floods, droughts and storms devastated many regions of the world.
Even though 2023 is only to short months old, the continuing wave of extreme climate-driven events are devastating communities across the world. Despite the tropical Pacific being in its typically cool phase—La Niña—the climate change heating of Earth system continues unabated. Normally La Niña helps keep a lid on global temperatures, but even under La Niña’s influence 2022 was one of the hottest years ever recorded.
Those of us watching these world events are starting to feel punch-drunk. And, as the Pacific climatic systems shifts to El Niño we feel nauseous in expectation of the sharp uptick in temperature, bringing more intense storms and greater depth of heat stress, including crop failure and food shortages. And much more wild fire.
The consequences are likely to cataclysmic for many communities.
I will be ramping up my commentary in this space, urging the world (communities and politicians alike) to acknowledge that climate change is here—now—and to prepare for these catastrophic events, rather than the lurching reactions we’ve witnessed and experienced so far.
I began this commentary during a radio interview with Peter Goers, The Evening Show, ABC Radio Adelaide (February 7, 2023).