Table of Contents
No one can predict the future, but you can prepare. Find out what to prepare for and pick up the tools you’ll need at the immersive Virtual Inman Connect on Nov. 1-2, 2023. And don’t miss Inman Connect New York on Jan. 23-25, 2024, where AI, capital, and more will be center stage. Bet big on the roaring future, and join us at Connect.
There isn’t any kind of lawsuit or technology that is going to disrupt the real estate industry as much as global warming.
It isn’t having the same effect on everyone. An elderly couple died in Arizona during a heat wave after their air conditioner stopped working. Take this as a reminder to check on elderly relatives and neighbors during heat waves.
Others have experienced flight delays and have had to change travel plans due to extreme heat at their destination. Maybe you missed a wedding or an event because of a flood, fire, hurricane or some other extreme weather event.
Global warming is now ‘global boiling’
July 2023 was the hottest July on record and some have started calling global warming “global boiling.” I suppose a cup-half-full kind of person could recognize July 2023 as the coolest July for the next 10 to 100 years or, worst-case scenario, one of the last Julys.
Global warming is being caused by burning fossil fuels. Yes, humans are responsible for global warming. We love to burn fossil fuels. What would the 4th of July be without boats, trailers, road trips, and various toys that can be used on water or on land and that burn fossil fuel?
The price of gasoline seems to be on everyone’s radar and people are trying to decide between an electric car and one that burns gasoline. Neither are good for the environment but very few people are willing to walk or take public transportation instead. Many prefer to live in areas that are not walkable and where there isn’t any public transportation.
Can technology save us?
Sometimes I get excited about technology like AI. I start imagining how it could be used to clean up the air, which might cool down the planet and would prevent some deaths. I have read a few articles on the subject, but if there are 100 articles about AI, 99 of them are about how to leverage it to make more money.
In Minnesota, we have been experiencing a serious drought for a few years now. Summers here used to be lush and green with blue skies. The last few summers have been brown and dry with skies that are filled with smoke from distant fires. Sometimes in the early morning, sunshine leaves sepia-colored shadows on the grass.
Our grass died last June. On the plus side, it has only been mowed twice this year, and I don’t waste time watering it. Did you know that water is finite? Yes, it is true even in the land of 10,000 lakes — sometimes water use has to be restricted.
A few of my neighbors have emerald green lawns and the grass gets long enough to mow. They must water at night; I never see or hear sprinklers during the day.
It is hard to smell the fires and feel the heat and to have any glimmer of hope that mankind will stop burning fossil fuels and start cleaning up the air and water. Yet we know that humans are very good at adapting. (Read Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari.)
When you see the word “disruption,” think of rising sea levels, storms that occur more often and that are more severe. Think of mass extinction, climate refugees and water shortages. Rising sea levels and massive fires.
It is probably too late to reverse global warming, but it’s never too late to stop making it worse
Some insurance companies will no longer provide homeowners insurance in areas where there are a lot of floods or fires. The availability of homeowners insurance and the cost have a direct impact on the cost of housing.
When storms destroy neighborhoods, housing resources are directed toward repair or replacement instead of building more housing.
Gardening has changed; I have been gardening for decades. The season is longer, which is kind of nice, but I have had to make some changes due to lack of water. I grow vegetables in straw bales and collect rainwater in a rain barrel.
Many of the perennials that grew for years and years have died off and I have replaced some of them with more drought-tolerant plants. Where there used to be a flower bed, I now grow hardy native plants that most consider to be weeds like chicory, frost aster, fleabane and goldenrod.
Yes, it is hot here, too, but we haven’t seen the killer heat waves that other parts of the country and the world are experiencing. We end up under the heat dome for a few days here and there, but so far we have had periods of relief with nighttime temperatures in the 60s, even.
When it rains I like to sit on the front porch and watch it. Rain seems almost magical to me now. I love the sound of it and the smell of it.
I asked BARD (AI) to give me some weather facts for July 2023:
July was the hottest month ever recorded — National weather service. “July’s first three weeks broke a global heat record.”
High-temperature records broken in July 2023 in the US:
Phoenix, Arizona: 118 degrees Fahrenheit on July 26, breaking the previous record of 116 degrees set in 1990.
Tucson, Arizona: 112 degrees Fahrenheit on July 25, breaking the previous record of 110 degrees set in 1995.
Death Valley, California: 120 degrees Fahrenheit on July 17 and 23, tying the record set in 1913.
Anaheim, California: 99 degrees Fahrenheit on July 27, breaking the previous record of 98 degrees set in 1988.
Baton Rouge, Louisiana: 102 degrees Fahrenheit on July 31, breaking the previous record of 101 degrees set in 2009.
New Orleans, Louisiana: 101 degrees Fahrenheit on July 31, breaking the previous record of 100 degrees set in 2009.
Austin, Texas: 107 degrees Fahrenheit on August 1, breaking the previous record of 106 degrees set in 2011.
San Antonio, Texas: 106 degrees Fahrenheit on August 1, breaking the previous record of 105 degrees set in 1980.
Waco, Texas: 106 degrees Fahrenheit on August 1, breaking the previous record of 105 degrees set in 1954.
There have been a number of record high ocean temperatures recorded in recent months, including:
101.1 degrees Fahrenheit (38.4 degrees Celsius): A buoy in Manatee Bay, Florida, recorded this temperature on July 13, 2023. This is the highest sea surface temperature ever recorded in the Atlantic Ocean.
95.1 degrees Fahrenheit (35 degrees Celsius): A buoy in the Gulf of Mexico recorded this temperature on July 14, 2023. This is the highest sea surface temperature ever recorded in the Gulf of Mexico.
28.7 degrees Celsius (83.7 degrees Fahrenheit): The Mediterranean Sea reached this average sea surface temperature on July 27, 2023. This is the warmest sea surface temperature ever recorded in the Mediterranean Sea.
27.5 degrees Celsius (81.5 degrees Fahrenheit): The Indian Ocean reached this average sea surface temperature on July 28, 2023. This is the warmest sea surface temperature ever recorded in the Indian Ocean.
Other weather-related records broken in the US in July of 2023:
Longest heat wave: The heat wave that affected the Southwest and Central US from July 10-27 was the longest on record in those regions.
Most consecutive days over 100 degrees Fahrenheit: Phoenix, Arizona, experienced 45 consecutive days with temperatures over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, breaking the previous record of 44 days set in 1995.
Highest minimum temperature: The minimum temperature in Death Valley, California, was 97 degrees Fahrenheit on July 22, breaking the previous record of 96 degrees set in 1913.
Most rainfall in a day: The town of Glendora, California, received 18.3 inches of rain on July 20, breaking the previous record of 17.1 inches set in 1938.
Most consecutive days with flooding: The town of Nederland, Colorado, experienced 11 consecutive days of flooding in July, breaking the previous record of 10 days set in 1976.
This information isn’t useful to most real estate professionals, but, as a human living on the planet Earth, I think everyone should be made aware and maybe pause and reflect on the hottest month on record. Writing about it isn’t going to solve anything, but, so far, ignoring it isn’t helping either.
The maximum temperature at which humans can survive is generally considered to be around 108°F (42.2°C). This condition is known as hyperthermia, and it can result from prolonged exposure to high temperatures, strenuous physical activity, certain medications or underlying health conditions.