Smoke Choke

Sunday, July 16, 2023 12:29 PM

The climate change-fueled extreme weather adventures for this summer continue, wafting close to home again for me and my family. The dangerous smoke from Canadian wildfires is once again drifting over Michigan, threatening to choke the labored breathing of vulnerable folks or anyone stuck working for extended periods outside:

Michigan is in for another round of Canadian wildfire smoke

Sure, we can take refuge in our air-conditioned home, hiding indoors until the smoke clears (literally and figuratively). But this "new normal" isn't normal at all. Extreme weather events are becoming more and more common, well beyond the levels originally forecast by the major climate models. Things are getting kinda crazy. Off the Florida Keys, the ocean water temperatures have risen into the 90s, rivaling the temps you'd expect to see in your average hot tub:

How Hot Is the Sea Off Florida Right Now? Think 90s Fahrenheit.

We just keep setting records...the kind you don't want to break. Per NASA, June of this year was the hottest June in recorded history:

NASA Finds June 2023 Hottest on Record

I must admit — even as an author who writes "climate fiction" — I find these recent trends fairly terrifying. It does appear that the dreaded "feedback loop mechanisms" may be kicking in now, accelerating the effects of global warming beyond the expectations of the modelers. We're running out of time to mitigate the worst effects. I still believe we can dodge the "superheated bullet" and avoid disaster; I still believe we have the ability to salvage our future, and the future of our planet. But it will take collective will, and acceptance of reality...and, sometimes, I despair that we won't reach consensus on the need to take decisive action, at least in the US, until a whole bunch of misery is "baked in" for our descendants. Man, I hope I'm wrong!!!