How La Niña will shape heat and hurricanes this year

“The periodic swings between El Niño and La Niña, collectively known as the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO), is a natural phenomenon cycling every three to seven years. Over the past year, the El Niño also synced with other natural patterns like the warm phase of the Atlantic Ocean’s temperature cycle, driving thermometers up further. But humanity’s relentless injection of heat-trapping gases into the atmosphere is pushing these changes to greater extremes.”

It’s Official: 2023 Was the Hottest Year on Record

“The European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) reports that 2023 was the hottest year in the instrumental temperature record. That’s in part because global temperatures were boosted by the El Niño phenomenon in which the eastern Pacific Ocean surface temperature periodically surges higher.”

“”Not only is 2023 the warmest year on record, it is also the first year with all days over 1°C warmer than the pre-industrial period. Temperatures during 2023 likely exceed those of any period in at least the last 100,000 years,” noted Samantha Burgess, deputy director of C3S, in a press release.”

“The satellite temperature series run by climatologists Roy Spencer and John Christy at the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) also basically concurs, reporting that 2023 is the hottest year in its 45-year record.”

“The C3S report observed that atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations reached the highest levels ever recorded, 419 parts per million for carbon dioxide and 1902 parts per billion for methane. UAH’s Christy cautiously concedes that the “background climate-trend is about +0.1 °C per decade and could represent the warming effect of the extra greenhouse gases that are being added to the atmosphere as human development progresses.””

The Florida Barrier Reef’s Last Stand

“unseasonably hot water arrived this summer, meaning those coral colonies had to endure months of extreme water temperatures. A buoy off Florida recorded 101-degree water temperatures this July. When corals are stressed by hot or cold water, they lose their color—a result of expelling algae that provides corals with most of their energy—and eventually die.”

“If the reefs collapsed completely, it would be disastrous for the Florida Keys. According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the reefs in Southeast Florida are valued at $8.5 billion and sustain 70,000 full- and part-time jobs. The barrier reef also protects the Keys from hurricanes and major storms by soaking up wave action.”

This summer is giving us a glimpse at the dangerous future of work

“Temperatures also don’t have to be very high for strenuous work to become deadly. The lack of heat acclimatization all too frequently kills workers; the majority of workers who die from heat do so in the first few days at work. “A lot of workers will actually end up in heatstroke during the first week on the job,” says Brenda Jacklitsch, a health scientist at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).
Extreme heat is also affecting productivity. According to a 2022 study by The Lancet, which is tracking the relationship between climate change and public health, about 470 billion hours of labor were lost in 2021 due to extreme heat. The US alone lost 2.5 billion hours, mostly in the construction, manufacturing, service, and agriculture sectors.”

Temperatures exceeding 123 Fahrenheit plunges country into 2-day nationwide shutdown: ‘Preserve the health of the citizens’

“Iran shut down government agencies, banks, and schools nationwide in early August, with temperatures soaring higher than 123 degrees Fahrenheit in places and the power grid struggling”

Why Asia’s early heat wave is so alarming

“A body adjusted to the heat knows how to sweat.
To keep the internal organs cool, blood flows to the skin at a higher rate. There’s more sweat, and it’s diluted more to reduce electrolyte loss (a key problem in dehydration). The body slows down its metabolic rate and heart rate for a lower core temperature, basically consuming less oxygen.

But it takes weeks of consistent exposure to heat to build up all this tolerance. We’re at our best when the heat doesn’t catch us off guard. A summer athlete might be familiar with this process, called acclimatization: The key is taking it slow, all while hydrating and taking breaks to cool down.

Climate change is making a safe, slow adjustment to heat much harder by upending what we’d typically expect as seasons change. Summers are getting longer and more intense, encroaching on winter and extending long into the fall.”

“nights are a lot hotter than they used to be. The ability to cool down at night is one of the most important factors to preventing heat illness. But hot nights disrupt sleep and strain the body.

“In general, since records began in 1895, summer overnight low temperatures are warming at a rate nearly twice as fast as afternoon high temperatures for the U.S. and the 10 warmest summer minimum temperatures have all occurred since 2002,” according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.”

Is the ‘Climate Time-Bomb’ Really Ticking Toward Imminent Catastrophe?

“What is the supposed looming climate catastrophe? Exceeding the threshold in which global average temperature rises 1.5 degrees Celsius above the 1850-1900 baseline. That threshold was established in the 2015 Paris Climate Change Agreement, which aims to hold “the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.” In order to have a 50/50 chance of achieving that goal, the new report calculates humanity must cut its greenhouse gas emissions (chiefly carbon dioxide) basically in half by 2030. Secretary-General Guterres asserted that the report shows that “the 1.5-degree limit is achievable.”
Will humanity inevitably suffer a catastrophic fall if we go over the supposed 1.5 degrees Celsius climatic cliff in 2030? No”

“It is the case that the world’s average temperature is about 1.1 degrees Celsius higher than it was between 1850 and 1900. The bulk of that temperature increase largely stems from burning fossil fuels that have loaded up the atmosphere with extra heat-trapping carbon dioxide. Atmospheric carbon dioxide stood at about 285 parts per million around 1850, rising to about 316 ppm by 1958 and is now at 420 ppm.

The report states that the evidence has “strengthened” that man-made global warming is responsible for observed changes in extremes such as heat waves, heavy precipitation, droughts, and tropical cyclones. Recent studies do show that the intensity, frequency, and duration of heat waves have increased since the 1950s and that the frequency of heavy rainfall events has also risen. On the other hand, clear evidence for changes in global trends in meteorological drought is lacking and global tropical cyclone accumulated energy (a measure of the combined duration and strength of tropical cyclones) is not increasing.”

“the report does not put a dollar figure on the losses that are projected to result from unmitigated climate change. Perhaps, as the report asserts, that is because “cost-benefit analysis remains limited in its ability to represent all avoided damages from climate change (high confidence).” Still, the report does note, “Even without accounting for all the benefits of avoiding potential damages the global economic and social benefit of limiting global warming to 2°C exceeds the cost of mitigation in most of the assessed literature (medium confidence).” A discreet footnote observes, “The evidence is too limited to make a similar robust conclusion for limiting warming to 1.5°C.” So the costs of trying to keep temperatures from increasing by 1.5 degrees Celsius might be greater than the benefits?”

Why The Same Temperature Can Feel Different Somewhere Else

““I’m from Wisconsin, and I live in Tennessee,” said Alisa Hass, a professor of geography at Middle Tennessee State University. “Moving south is a huge shock to the body.” That’s because your body acclimatizes to the temperature range it’s used to — literally, your physiology changes. People accustomed to spending time outside in higher temperatures sweat more and have increased blood flow to the skin, two changes that can help the body offload excess heat. These are short-term effects and can go away if the person gets de-acclimatized, a process that helps explain why lower high temperatures in spring can produce the same levels of heat sickness as higher highs later in the summer, Sugg said.

But there’s long-term acclimatization, as well, with people used to living in hotter climates feeling more comfortable at higher temperatures — even if their health risks are actually larger. For example, in a comparison of outdoor workers in Mississippi and North Carolina, Sugg found that the Mississippi workers believed their jobs had lower heat risks but were also the ones experiencing more heat-strain events. Another study that compared the temperature and local perception of temperature across a bunch of European cities found that what people considered “neutral” in comfort corresponded pretty well with local temperature ranges and was, in fact, closer to the local maximum temperatures than the local mean.

There’s a whole host of studies showing that where you grew up and what you’re used to affects what temperatures you perceive as comfortable and safe. The reasons seem to range from physiological acclimatization to behavioral adaptations chosen based on the normal climate — like the fact that more than 80 percent of Tennessee households have central air conditioning, compared to 60 percent of Wisconsin households and less than 5 percent of homes in the U.K.”

A Siberian town near the Arctic Circle just recorded a 100-degree temperature

“A small town in Siberia reached a temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit on Saturday, which, if verified, would mark the hottest temperature ever recorded north of the Arctic Circle.

Temperatures have jumped in recent months to levels rarely seen in the Russian region, and it’s a sign of a broader trend of human-caused climate change that’s transforming weather patterns in the Arctic Circle.

The town of Verkhoyansk is one of the coldest towns on Earth — temperatures dropped to nearly 60 degrees below zero there this past November — and the average June high temperature is 68 degrees.

The 100.4 reading in Verkhoyansk, which sits farther north than Fairbanks, Alaska, would be the northernmost 100-degree reading ever observed.”