By Audrey Alix
2022 and Climate, the weather ruled.
Our climate is changing and that doesn’t just mean hotter, that means that droughts will get drier, storms will get stronger, and extreme weather will get more extreme. Remember that the Earth is a fragile planet, and by polluting it, we are messing with its natural systems.
It’s not just heat:
Remember when Texas got hit with a snowstorm? That’s because of disruptions of the polar vortex. Cold snaps are moving further south because of this. For example, the winter storm this past December reached Tennessee and Texas, getting all the way down to -4 in Texas and -17 in Nashville (wind chills). Not only are they going further South, but they are also getting colder.
Although cold snaps are an effect of climate change, so is extreme heat. The top 10 warmest years on record have all occurred since 2010 (cite). The warming of the climate leads to more evaporation and in turn, more precipitation. To take a look at one example, Pakistan faced dramatic floods this past year that killed over 1000 people.
A 1000-year flood is a flood that is so large it occurs once every 1000 years. That’s a .1% chance of that flood happening in a given year. This past year, 5-1000 year flood events occurred.
Extreme weather in general is dramatically increasing. According to NOAA, the average number of weather events that exceed $1billion in damages is 7.9 from 1980-2022, meanwhile the average for 2018-2022 is a shocking 17.8.
What are Future Predictions for the Coming Years?
According to “The Guardian”, El Nino, a “climate pattern that describes the unusual warming of the eastern tropical pacific ocean” (National Geographic) is likely going to return in 2023, a 66% chance by August-October according to NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association. Unfortunately, according to professor Bill McGuire, of University College London, we can expect the harsh weather conditions that El Nino brings to be significantly worse than those brought in 2021 and 2022, years with already devastating weather (The Guardian).
Unfortunately, we can expect things to get worse if we don’t take climate action seriously and change.