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General News · 17th May 2023
FOCI Climate - Max
Does it feel hot out here? It is.

On May 14, 2023, Campbell River, British Columbia experienced an extreme temperature of 32 degrees Celsius (89.6 degrees Fahrenheit). This temperature is quite remarkable for mid-May, as it is well above the historical average high for the area during this time of year.

Climate change is caused primarily by the extreme emissions of a minority of super-emitters,
corporations that support their consumption – all permitted by lawmakers. We have a rapidly closing
window to limit these emissions to prevent more catastrophic changes to our spaceship earth.

According to Environment and Climate Change Canada, the average high temperature for Campbell River in May is around 17 degrees Celsius (62.6 degrees Fahrenheit). This means that the temperature on May 14, 2023 was a full 15 degrees Celsius above the long-term average for the area.

To further put this temperature into context, it's helpful to examine the top 10 daily maximum
temperatures on record for Campbell River during the month of May.

Here are the top 10 highest daily
maximums on record for the area, according to Environment and Climate Change Canada:
1. May 22, 1983 - 32.8°C
2. May 15, 2016 - 32.1°C
3. May 14, 2023 - 32.0°C
4. May 18, 1994 - 30.9°C
5. May 29, 1983 - 30.7°C
6. May 24, 1987 - 30.6°C
7. May 19, 2016 - 30.5°C
8. May 27, 1983 - 30.4°C
9. May 29, 1994 – 30.3°C
10. May 16, 2019 - 29.9°C

As you can see from the list, the top 10 highest daily maximum temperatures on record for May in
Campbell River all occurred in the 1980s, 1990s, and more recently in 2015, 2016 and 2019.
Maximum daily temperature records were 'smashed' in many places around the province; some by nearly 3 degrees. (https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/bc-heat-wave-temp-record-
1.6843412)

Exceptionally hot days are relatively rare in Campbell river, while temperatures in May can vary widely from year to year. As climate change continues to cause global temperatures to rise, extreme heat events like the one that occurred this past weekend are expected to become more frequent and intense in many parts of the world, including British Columbia.

In fact, a study by Climate Central found that the frequency and intensity of heatwaves in Canada has
increased significantly in recent decades, and that this trend is expected to continue in the coming
years. This means that temperatures like the one observed on May 14, 2023 will become more common in the future.

“This is what climate change looks like — these kinds of unusual conditions early in the season,
popping up suddenly,” said Andrew Pershing, director of climate science at the U.S. research group Climate Central (as reported in Times Colonist May 13, 2023).

High temperatures early in the year can be hard on human bodies because we haven't made seasonal
adaptations. Heatwaves are also a big challenge for salmon and their habitat, power production, transportation infrastructure -- they fuel wildfires that burn homes, and halt production.

The situation in BC comes against a backdrop of steady extreme climate news from around the world.“The global ocean surface was warmer in April 2023 than in any previous April [on record]”, according to National Centres for Environmental Information. This comes as El Nino is still on its way.

Additionally, the US National Centre for Snow and Ice reports, “on February 21, Antarctic sea ice
likely reached its annual minimum extent of 1.79 million square kilometers (691,000 square miles).
This the lowest sea ice extent in the 1979 to 2023 sea ice record, setting a record low for the second
straight year.”

And Alberta is in a state of emergency due to wildfires. As global temperatures continue to rise, it's becoming increasingly important for communities to prepare for the impacts of extreme heat events, including heat-related illnesses, increased demand for cooling systems, strains on electricity grids, interruptions to mobility and economic activity, and evacuations that decrease safety for society's most vulnerable (to name a few).

By taking steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to the changing climate, we can help to
mitigate the worst impacts of climate change and ensure a liveable future for generations to come,
while reducing the risk of runaway warming. Fairness, safety and responsibility requires deep cuts in emissions from all sectors, but especially and primarily luxury emissions.

The FOCI Climate Adaptation and Mitigation Project has begun an effort to reduce climate pollution, mobilize a movement to demand change from governments and help people stay safe from climate extremes.

It's an emergency situation, and we need your help. If you have any available resources of time and
energy or money, please get in touch. We can only succeed together.

Write us at foci.climategmail.com, donate at https://www.friendsofcortes.org/donations/ .

For furthur reading, see:
https://bc.ctvnews.ca/heat-wave-rolls-into-coastal-b-c-bringing-unseasonably-high-temperatures-
1.6395927
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/bc-heat-wave-temp-record-1.6843412
May 2023 ENSO update: El Niño knocking on the door NOAA Climate.gov
February 2023 Arctic Sea Ice News and Analysis (nsidc.org)
https://www.castanet.net/news/BC/426594/Climate-change-making-incoming-BC-heat-up-to-5-timesmore-likely-scientists
https://www.climatecentral.org/climate-shift-index-alert