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Extreme Weather
Events

Earth faces severe weather.

On 4 July, a day typically reserved for celebrating, an all-time heat record was broken globally. Shortly afterwards, on 6 July, Earth endured the hottest day ever, as the global average temperature increased to 17.2 °C.

A sunflower dries up in Złoty Potok, Poland

A sunflower dries up in Złoty Potok, Poland

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) claims that, for at least one year in the next four, there is a 66% likelihood that the annual average near-surface global temperature will be higher than 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. Additionally, the organisation states that there is 98% likelihood that the next five years, as a period of time, will be the warmest on record.

"Overall, global average temperatures are increasing
"Average temperature anomaly, Global" by Our World in Data is licensed under CC BY 4.0

With temperatures increasing, severe climate events have become more intense. Beijing experienced its heaviest rainfall in 140 years, as it was hit with Typhoon Doksuri. In Greece, 20,000 people fled from fires on Rhodes, making it Greece’s largest wildfire evacuation. And recently, almost 100 million Americans, nearly a third of the US population, were under heat alerts.

Typhoon from outer space

Typhoon from outer space

There may be more extreme weather events as temperatures rise. The last onslaught of events brought great consequences. Will we simply wait for the next?

Endnotes:

Space Station Flies Over Super Typhoon Maysak. (2015, April 1). NASA. https://www.nasa.gov/content/space-station-flies-over-super-typhoon-maysak.

Shine, I. (2023, July 20). Is 2023 going to be the hottest year on record? World Economic Forum. https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2023/07/climate-2023-hottest-year-on-record/.

July 2023 sees multiple global temperature records broken. (2023, August 8). Copernicus. https://climate.copernicus.eu/july-2023-sees-multiple-global-temperature-records-broken.

Patel, K. (2023, August 8). 2023 is on track to be the hottest year on record. Washington Post. https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-environment/2023/08/08/2023-is-track-be-hottest-year-record/.

History of the Fourth of July - Brief history, early celebrations & traditions. (2009, December 16). HISTORY. https://www.history.com/topics/holidays/july-4th.

Global temperatures set to reach new records in next five years. (2023, May 17). World Meteorological Organization. https://public.wmo.int/en/media/press-release/global-temperatures-set-reach-new-records-next-five-years.

ABC News. (2023, August 2). Beijing experiences heaviest rainfall in 140 years as Typhoon Doksuri floods continue to cause significant damage. ABC News. https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-08-03/china-hit-with-worst-flooding-in-over-a-decade/102681350.

Climate change: How global warming fuelled extreme climate disasters in 2022. (2022, September 21). World Economic Forum. https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2022/09/climate-change-global-warming-extreme-climate-disasters-2022/.

Visual Journalism Team. (2023, July 27). Greece fires in maps and satellite images show extent of damage. BBC News. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-66295972.

Cappucci, M. (2023, July 17). Severe heat wave in southern U.S. remains entrenched as records mount. Washington Post. https://www.washingtonpost.com/weather/2023/07/17/heat-wave-southwest-south-records-climate/.

Lesnes, C. (2022, June 16). Nearly 100 million people under US heat wave alert. Le Monde.fr. https://www.lemonde.fr/en/environment/article/2022/06/16/nearly-100-million-people-under-us-heat-wave-alert_5986990_114.html.

Average temperature anomaly. (n.d.). Our World in Data. https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/temperature-anomaly.

Extreme Weather Events Have Increased Significantly in the Last 20 Years. (2020, October 13). Yale E360. https://e360.yale.edu/digest/extreme-weather-events-have-increased-significantly-in-the-last-20-years.