It's October and I'm wearing shorts and a t-shirt.
While July weather in the fall is welcome to many, those who are collapse-aware know this is yet another symptom of our incurable disease. This is not normal.
Global temperatures in 2023 have gone vertical.
You see that single bar on the far right in the two charts below? That's 2023.
2023 is about 0.5 degrees Celsius higher than 2022. That amount of increase is equivalent to 40 years of heating in a single year.
The conclusion is clear: 2023 was a turning point for global temperatures.
Why is 2023 suddenly much warmer?
We've known for a long time that pollution masks sunlight hitting the earth, a phenomenon known as "global dimming". The bar chart on the left below illustrates how sulfur dioxide - a pollutant emitted by global ocean shipping - has historically lowered temperatures by 0.5 degrees Celsius.
In other words, based on greenhouse gases alone the planet's temperature should have already increased by 1.5 degrees Celsius. However, we've (accidentally) mitigated this by polluting sulfur dioxide.
Until now, that is.
Trading one problem for another
Between 1970 and 2019, annual sulfur dioxide emissions from international shipping rose to 10.9 million metric tons. In 2020, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) introduced regulation lowering the acceptable sulfur content in marine fuels. This regulation successfully lowered global sulfur dioxide emissions to 2.5 million metric tons.
Sulfur dioxide is a shitty chemical. It damages living creatures and creates acid rain. While it was right for the IMO to curtail sulfur dioxide emissions, it appears humanity has effectively traded one problem for another.
Sulfur dioxide emissions from ocean shipping is just one piece of the global climate puzzle, but it's a pretty important one. There's no need to overcomplicate it - the reduction in shipping emissions is now contributing to global heating.
With fewer pollutants floating in the atmosphere, more sunlight reaches the planet's surface and oceans. Consequently, net additional energy hitting the earth has risen significantly, spiking over the past couple years.
Currently, the extra energy hitting the planet is the equivalent to 15.96 Hiroshima atomic bombs per second (source: Professor Eliot Jacobson)
This is the reason you're wearing shorts in October.