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Catastrophic Climate Change

Updated: May 29, 2023

Extreme weather events are becoming more common due to climate change. The average global temperature in 2022 was about 1.15°C above pre-industrial (1850-1900) levels. Without the cooling effect of the La Niña phenomena, 2022 would have been the warmest year on record. El Niño, the warming phenomena, is expected to take over from La Niña this year. In that case, 2023 may well be the hottest year ever.

Some extreme climate events in 2022-2023:


Catastrophic flooding in Pakistan.

Extreme heat in western Europe caused devastating wildfires in France

and Spain, unprecedented drought in Italy and Portugal, and the UK recorded its highest-ever temperature of over 40°C.

Heatwave in South and Central Asia. Temperatures in parts of India exceeded 40°C for two weeks, causing unbearably hot conditions and forest fires.

China experienced its worst heatwave in 60 years with temperatures exceeding 40°C.

Heatwaves in Europe and the US. Wildfires destroyed over 785,000 hectares of forest.

Tropical storms and typhoons in the Philippines caused landslides and floods.

Hurricane Ian struck Florida, USA, and caused the region’s most deaths by hurricane in almost 90 years.

Countries in the Middle East including Iran, Iraq and Syria were hit with sand and dust storms. More than 1,000 people were hospitalised for respiratory problems.

Drought caused extreme food crises in the Horn of Africa (Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia and neighbouring Uganda).

Other parts of Africa experienced disastrous floods, killing hundreds and leaving at least

100,000 homeless in Nigeria and Chad.


Tropical Cyclone Freddy, an exceptionally long-lived, powerful, and deadly storm, set a record for the highest accumulated cyclone energy for any tropical system on record. It moved across the southern Indian Ocean, affecting Madagascar, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Malawi, South Africa and Zambia.

The Philippines entered the new year with incessant rain, fatal flooding and landslides.

More than 211,000 people were displaced among 1.3 million affected as the rains destroyed homes, infrastructure, crops and fishing boats.

Heavy rainfall and strong winds caused floods and damage in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Forest fires spread in southern and central Chile, after a decade of extreme dry weather.

South Sudan saw its fourth year of historic flooding, impacting around a million people.

In April, a heatwave swept over part of Asia including China, India, Thailand, Laos and Bangladesh, with temperatures up to 45° C.

A winter storm put almost 40 million people under a winter weather alert in southern-central United States in January - February.

In Brazil, heavy rainfall caused floods and landslides during the carnival season.

More than 120 people lost their lives in devastating floods and landslides caused by heavy rains in Rwanda.

Antarctic sea ice extent continued to hover near record low levels.

Despite pledges and plans, global CO2 emissions continued to rise, reaching 424 PPM (parts per million) on May 6, 2023 (up 5 points from one year ago). UN chief Antonio Guterres called current climate policies "a death sentence" for the world.



-Julie Wornan

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