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One Hell of A Summer

Why 2023 Could Be Just the Beginning of a Series of Record Hot Summers...

According to Politico 2023 was called the year of the "Summer of Hell" heatwaves hit every part of the Globe from Antarctica to, Europe, Africa, Australia and North and South America. Europe grappled with extreme weather from soaring temperatures in southern Italy to powerful storms in Croatia and Italy, piling pressure on emergency services and residents, and challenging tourists seeking summer recuperation.

Temperatures consistently topped 40 degrees Celsius across southern and eastern European countries, and for some areas like Sicily there were weeks of no respite resulting in 3 months of zero births. The Italian island was baking in 48 degrees Celsius on many weekends, according to the Met Office, with night temperatures of 30 degrees offering little in the way of comfort.

On the Greek island of Rhodes, firefighters battled to bring difficult wildfires under control, and thousands of people were evacuated from homes and hotels after fires engulfed large parts of the island, while Greece's fire service warned that the situation would worsen due to weather, the BBC reported. Heat Map News reported that extreme heat was the "deadliest weather phenomenon in the United States."... "It's also one of the easiest to underestimate: We feel it on our skin, or perhaps see it shimmering in the air around us, but it doesn't announce itself with the destructive aplomb of a hurricane or wildfire. Still, heat waves are becoming practically synonymous with summer."

Climate change is only making heat waves worse. They're getting more frequent, up from an average of two per year in the United States in the 1960s to six per year in the 2010s and more than Ten per year expected for most of the'2020s and beyond. They're also about a day longer than they were in the ‘60s, and they're more intense; those two factors combined, in particular, make them more deadly. 2023's expected El Niño will bring even more heat with it: NOAA's summer outlook for the United States, predicted accurately a swath of above-average temperatures across much of the country. Even the Arctic was affected irreversibly and a phenomena called Zombie fires has increased tenfold from 2016 when it first made headlines across the globe.

First discovered on 2016 by Sander Veraverbeke, an Earth scientist at the Vrije Universiteit of Amsterdam in the Netherlands. What he saw on the satellite images were “zombie fires,” remnants of burns from the previous year that somehow stayed alive, smoldering underground, through the long, cold winter.

Zombie fires aren’t an entirely new phenomenon in the Arctic; fire managers have noted occasional flare-ups in past decades. But Veraverbeke’s team found that their occurrences are tightly linked to climate change, happening more often after hot, long summers with lots of fire and suggesting that these still-rare events could become more frequent. “The sheer fact that this is happening is a testament to how quickly the region is changing,” he says. Not even the Antarctic has been spared according to researchers. Not only is Antarctic ice melting more quickly than new snow can replace it, but the rate of loss due to melting and calving is increasing. Each year, the ice sheet is shrinking more rapidly. Previously to 2023 Climatologists predicted that if the ice sheet were to melt completely--the process would take as 500 years. At the current rate the melting could occur in our children's lifetimes and according to some models--global sea levels could rise by as much as 20 feet by 2100, inundating islands and coastal areas worldwide. The debate over whether the ice sheet is at risk hinges partly on its past history.

Scientists warn deep ocean water flows from the Antarctic could decline by 40 percent by 2050, threatening the collapse of circulation crucial for planetary systems. Affecting oceans for centuries the decline could have a disastrous effect on global climate, the marine food chain, and even the stability of ice shelves, new research says. According to recent reports in High Soaring Millennials and Scientific American Magazines the North Atlantic may see a major increase in rising seas. If the current can't ferry large volumes of water around the world, the ocean will absorb less carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Parts of the deep ocean will then receive less oxygen. Marine ecosystems could change in ways scientists are still trying to understand.

In short, there could be dramatic consequences. But it's no longer still a matter of debate whether those looming alterations could happen within the next few decades the timetable has drastically changed.


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