As California suffocates under a heat wave and disproportionate fires, the observation of this summer 2022 leaves an unpleasant impression of the end of a world. It is then quite legitimate to ask the question: is the world in which we live radically changing?
Our team has compiled in this article some elements of answer.
Summer 2022: an unprecedented change?
It is a real hellish season that took place this summer. At all points of the planet, temperatures were well above the maximums usually recorded. In France, as early as mid-June, the 40°C (104°F) mark was exceeded, never before seen. The country has been recording and compiling temperatures since 1959 and this year was the second hottest summer since then (after 2003).
In the United Kingdom, however, an island further north and which should, being surrounded by water, benefit from a milder climate, the red alert for extreme heat was triggered in July by the national weather agency. An unprecedented event once again.
Also in July, it was, remember, the glacier of Marmolada that collapsed after having broken its temperature record the day before.
The same thing happened in China, where the country had to endure a heat wave of more than 70 days with temperatures exceeding 45°C (113°F)!
And what about the United States where multiple fires ravaged California fanned by the unprecedented heat wave. These fires that Europe has also experienced with records of hectares of forests gone up in smoke. Even worse, while California is burning in the fires of hell and firefighters are struggling to fight this fire monster, Kentucky is drowned under a deluge. The land, too dry, cannot absorb the precipitation that is falling violently, creating enormous damage to crops, homes and infrastructure. Pakistan is also asking for help after being transformed, in the words of its president, into a “huge ocean” (a third of its territory is under water, imagine that!) because of intense rainfall.
All this looks like a bad scenario of a low budget movie… and leaves us with a bad taste of the day after. What to think of all this? Is it really the end of the world? Or at least the world as we knew it?
The experts’ opinion
In many places on the planet, warnings are issued by scientists, men who study the phenomena, their causes, their consequences… and yet the number of climate sceptics is still high.
Why is this so? Is it our foolish blindness that prevents us from opening our eyes and looking reality in the face? Are we in denial because we want to continue living as we did yesterday, while imagining that this will have no consequences?
Because the facts are there and the experts agree that this is only the beginning and that we must prepare ourselves to live other deadly summers.
As Eric Kurth, a meteorologist with the NWS California office, said, “It’s not uncommon to have hot temperatures over the Labor Day period, but this is an extraordinary heat event.” This heat wave is also expected to affect Washington, Idaho, western Montana and Oregon.
The problem with this extreme weather is that it creates a vicious cycle that will only make it worse. Forests burn, CO2 is released, increasing the greenhouse effect and more importantly decreasing the planet’s ability to absorb that same CO2 in the future. Similarly, users are using more and more electricity to cool their homes but, as was the case in California, the production of photovoltaic energy stops at night, which causes power outages on the network that can not meet the demand.
So, yes, the editors at Fw Chicago believe that our world is changing and that we, all and each one of us, need to take action to reduce the phenomenon (we won’t be able to prevent it completely) and work on solutions. For tomorrow, for our children, for our Earth.