2023 Predictions for Climate and Energy

January 2, 2023

Michael Thomas is a writer who has been honing in on the challenges for building out the energy transition.
He tweets at @curious_founder.
On January 1, he tweeted out a series of predictions for the energy and environment in 2023.

  1. Exponential growth of solar will continue

2. Spectacular Growth of Wind Generation will Continue

3. Most energy “experts” will continue to underestimate the growth of solar energy – (And

@AukeHoekstra will continue to update this chart)

4. Americans will continue to buy more heat pumps than gas furnaces

5. Norwegians will continue to buy more EVs than the rest of us

6. More cities and states will ban natural gas appliances in new homes. (And more people will learn that gas stoves increase children’s risk of asthma by 42%).

KTVU Fox:

In one analysis of observational research published in 2013, children living in households that use gas stoves for cooking were found to be 42% more likely to have asthma.

NO2 can also affect adults with asthma, and it can contribute to both the development and exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Levy noted, citing two different studies. 

Researchers, including Levy, have also warned about methane and other hazardous air pollutants of concern from gas stoves. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas that traps heat in our atmosphere, worsening climate change.

I’ll add some of my own.
Weather extremes will continue to worsen in 2023.

After a rare ( but not unprecedented) 3 years of La Nina conditions, a shift to El Nino becomes more likely – which could bring more heat out of the Pacific, and a new global temperature record.

Severe Weather EU:

La Nina has reached its peak just as the Winter 2022/2023 begins. After that, it will begin its slow breakdown process while still affecting the weather patterns over the Winter season. But we are already seeing signs that later in 2023, an El Nino could emerge after several years. It can completely change the weather patterns for the weather seasons next year.

Wired:

IN 2023, THE relentless increase in global heating will continue, bringing ever more disruptive weather that is the signature calling card of accelerating climate breakdown. 

According to NASA, 2022 was one of the hottest years ever recorded on Earth. This is extraordinary, because the recurrent climate pattern across the tropical Pacific—known as ENSO (El Niño Southern Oscillation)—was in its cool phase. During this phase, called La Niña, the waters of the equatorial Pacific are noticeably cooler than normal, which influences weather patterns around the world.

One consequence of La Niña is that it helps keep a lid on global temperatures. This means that—despite the recent widespread heat waves, wildfires and droughts—we have actually been spared the worst. The scary thing is that this La Niña will end and eventually transition into the better-known El Niño, which sees the waters of the equatorial Pacific becoming much warmer. When it does, the extreme weather that has rampaged across our planet in 2021 and 2022 will pale into insignificance. 

Current forecasts suggest that La Niña will continue into early 2023, making it—fortuitously for us—one of the longest on record (it began in Spring 2020). Then, the equatorial Pacific will begin to warm again. Whether or not it becomes hot enough for a fully fledged El Niño to develop, 2023 has a very good chance—without the cooling influence of La Niña—of being the hottest year on record.

A global average temperature rise of 1.5°C is widely regarded as marking a guardrail beyond which climate breakdown becomes dangerous. Above this figure, our once-stable climate will begin to collapse in earnest, becoming all-pervasive, affecting everyone, and insinuating itself into every aspect of our lives. In 2021, the figure (compared to the 1850–1900 average) was 1.2°C, while in 2019—before the development of the latest La Niña—it was a worryingly high 1.36°C. As the heat builds again in 2023, it is perfectly possible that we will touch or even exceed 1.5°C for the first time.

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2 Responses to “2023 Predictions for Climate and Energy”

    • ubrew12 Says:

      You can generate electricity from mixing freshwater into seawater through an RO membrane. They say “Bi- ION [is]… derived from seawater or reclaimed waste water”, which makes me think it may be concentrated seawater (i.e. salt water).


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