Prepare for a ‘Gray Swan’ Climate

The Atlantic | Zoë Schlanger
January 22, 2024

From a climate perspective, 2024 is beginning in uncharted territory. Temperatures last year broke records not by small intervals but by big leaps; 2023 was the hottest year ever recorded, and each month in the second half of the year was the hottest—the hottest June, the hottest July, all the way through to December. July was in fact the hottest month in recorded history. Already, experts predict that 2024 is likely to be even hotter. But these heat records, although important milestones, won’t hold their title for long. “Getting too excited about any given year is a bit of a fool’s game, because we’re on an escalator that’s going up,” Jason Smerdon, a climate scientist at the Columbia Climate School, told me. “We’re going to be doing this every year.”

Read More