The last 3 months were the hottest on record. Was summer 2023 just the beginning? – DIGIWIZ CENTRAL

The last 3 months were the hottest on record. Was summer 2023 just the beginning?

This year’s US Open has been a hot one. Serbia’s Novak Djokovic cooled off during a break this week.

John Minchillo/Associated Press

 June through August were the hottest months on record, the World Meteorological Organization said.The average temperature of the world’s oceans also hit record-highs in August.The deadly extreme heat and other climate-fueled disasters are upending people’s lives this summer.This article is part of Insider’s weekly newsletter on sustainability. Sign up here.

Earth just had its hottest three months on record — and I bet you felt it, just like I did.

The announcement from the World Meteorological Organization on Wednesday about the planet’s heat streak was fitting for the unofficial end of summer in the US. Here and abroad, it was a season marked by extreme heat, both in the atmosphere and in the oceans, along with a string of disasters.

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said on Wednesday that “climate breakdown has begun,” fueled by “our fossil fuel addiction.”

While it’s difficult to tie one disaster to the climate crisis, the vast majority of scientists agree that the rising greenhouse-gas emissions pumped into the air each year from power plants, cars, and other industries trap heat in the air and water. As temperatures warm, the frequency and intensity of heat waves and wildfires increase, while storms carry heavier rainfall.

These events have played out over and over again in 2023. In the US alone, there have been 15 disasters that caused more than $1 billion in damage. The number could rise following the deadly wildfires in Maui, Hawaii, and Hurricane Idalia, which struck Florida’s southwest coast.

A summer of writing about disaster after disaster got me thinking: Will we look back on this summer as a turning point? Are we learning anything? Is summer 2023 just the beginning of what’s to come? How can we be prepared?

These three quotes from experts helped me put this moment into context:

Anthony Leiserowitz, the director of the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication, warned against describing extreme weather as “the new normal.”

“We’re not on a plateau,” Leiserowitz told Insider in July. “We’re on a roller coaster. This is the new abnormal. And it’s getting worse.”

More of us are feeling the whiplash: Americans are increasingly connecting the dots between disasters and the climate crisis. A survey of about 1,000 US adults conducted in April and May by Yale and George Mason University found that 44% of respondents agreed they’d experienced global warming — double the share from a decade earlier.

Those experiences are factoring into a surprising number of people’s homebuying decisions. In a Zillow survey of US house hunters released this week, 83% of respondents said they were taking climate-related risks into consideration when looking for a home. Still, affordability remained their top priority.

That takes me to another major takeaway of the summer: The climate crisis is helping make some parts of the US too risky for some home insurers.

Carole Walker, the executive director of the Rocky Mountain Insurance Association, had this to say: “We’re in a perfect storm of market conditions. We’re seeing escalating catastrophe risk, a historic rise in inflation, and the cost to recover and rebuild homes is increasing.”

It’s too early to know how these trends may shape where people live. In the meantime, communities have to be better prepared because the next five years could continue to break temperature records, according to the World Meteorological Organization.

“We have to start thinking about what the risks are going to be in 10 and 20 years from now so we can use our mitigation dollars to reduce impacts and help communities be more resilient,” Deanne Criswell, the administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, said in a press conference after floods in the Northeast.

FEMA on Wednesday named 483 areas nationwide as “resilience zones,” which will be first in line for federal dollars for projects that build up their defenses against climate-fueled disasters.

Read the original article on Business Insider
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