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“Beyond Extreme”: Marine Heat Waves, the Ugly Horrors of This System, and the Ticking Clock

We Need Revolution! System Change NOT Climate Change!

The planet has been experiencing off-the-charts and record-smashing warm ocean temperatures since March of this year.1 Sea surface temperatures—5 degrees Celsius higher than average or more in many places—are the highest seen for June in over 170 years! This is posing challenges to scientists who are struggling to get a deeper understanding of this catastrophe. Scientists use a heat wave scale to measure the severity of warming—with category 5 the highest, labeled “beyond extreme.” Heat has reached category 4 in parts of the world, and a few local areas have reached category 5—that highest level of warming.2

NOAA's chart of rising global ocean heat, 2012.


Understanding the Interplay of Factors

The backdrop of this extreme, and extremely ominous and dangerous, weather event is human-caused climate change.

Climate change—caused primarily by the burning of fossil fuels like coal, oil, and natural gas, as well as other human activity like the clearing of forests—is interacting with and fomenting a number of the other factors driving this heat wave. It has been estimated that the current heat wave of the seas would be almost statistically impossible if not for anthropogenic (human-caused) climate change.3

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At the foundation of the climate crisis are several complex factors, including the onset of what is called El Niño. El Niño is the name of a natural, periodic climate pattern that weakens the “trade winds,” or wind patterns that blow near the equator (halfway between the north and south poles) from east to west. El Niño occurs about every two to seven years. It usually lasts 9-12 months but can sometimes last years. The overall effect of El Niño is an increase in global temperatures, and this affects global weather patterns. La Niña, its counterpart climate pattern, which has just ended, leads to an overall decrease in global temperatures.4

Among other drivers are: the 2022 Hunga Tonga underwater volcanic eruption; the shrinking of sea ice, which reflects heat back into space; and less dust than usual over the ocean from the Sahara desert, which also reflects heat back into space.5 It is a convergence of events, both natural and human caused, being driven overall by the capitalist-imperialist climate crisis.

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A Global Phenomenon

Warmer ocean surface temperatures fuel extreme weather events such as hurricanes; increase the rate of ice melt in the Arctic and Antarctic, leading to rising sea levels; ravage crucial marine ecosystems like coral reefs; and can cause mass species die-offs. And rising ocean surface temperatures will lead to an increase in global temperatures overall. Last summer, in South Asia and elsewhere, temperatures were reaching the limit of what human beings can endure. Right now, in south Texas, the heat index is 125 degrees F. And the world will only get hotter.6

Warming oceans lead to lower oxygen levels in the water, which resulted in thousands of dead fish in Galveston, Texas, October 2012.


Warming oceans lead to lower oxygen levels in the water, which resulted in thousands of dead fish in Galveston, Texas, October 2012.    Photo: AP

While certain parts of the world are being hit particularly hard—for example, the North Atlantic and the Baltic Sea—this is fundamentally a global phenomenon, affecting the world oceans as a whole, and driven by global factors. And the oceans play a critical role in the functioning and regulation of the whole planet.

Since 1900, the oceans have absorbed 89 percent of the heat from climate change. In the last three years, during La Niña, heat was “bottled up” in the oceans and kept from the atmosphere. With El Niño, “11 Hiroshimas of excess energy per second accumulating in Earth’s climate system over the past three years” will now go into the atmosphere.7 This will not explode like an atomic bomb. But it IS accelerating the warming of the planet and its people, and can in the long run have the same devastating effect of nuclear war on life on the planet.

A Damning Indictment of the System

This extreme heating of the oceans is, yet again, another damning indictment of this system, and an ominous sign of what’s to come without immediate and rapid reductions in carbon emissions, measures that are impossible under this profit-driven, planet-destroying system of capitalism-imperialism. It is this system—with its relentless burning of fossil fuels, its treatment of nature as a source of profits and dumping ground—that is driving this madness. And it is only an actual revolution to overthrow this system that would give us a real chance at preventing the worst of the climate crisis, mitigating its already baked-in impacts, and creating an economy and society that interacts with nature in a planned, rational, and sustainable manner.

All of those who rightly agonize over the climate crisis and the destruction of our planet under the weight of this system—the MOST REALISTIC, URGENT, AND IMPORTANT THING you can do is to become a part of this movement for revolution right now, when this revolution is not only more needed than ever, but actually more possible. The clock is ticking: things are currently unfolding in a terrible, unspeakably horrific direction. Learn about the liberating future that is possible, outlined in the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, and join the fight to bring this world into being.

CONSTITUTION For The New Socialist Republic In North America
(Draft Proposal)

Authored by Bob Avakian, and adopted by the Central Committee of the RCP (PDF)

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From the genocide in Gaza, to the growing threat of world war between nuclear powers, to escalating environmental devastation… the capitalist-imperialist system ruling over us is a horror for billions around the world and is tearing up the fabric of life on earth. Now the all-out battle within the U.S. ruling class, between fascist Republicans and war criminal Democrats, is coming to a head—likely during, or before, the coming elections—ripping society apart unlike anything since the Civil War. 

Bob Avakian (BA), revolutionary leader and author of the new communism, has developed a strategy to prepare for and make revolution. He’s scientifically analyzed that this is a rare time when an actual revolution has become more possible, and has laid out the sweeping vision, solid foundation and concrete blueprint for “what comes next,” in the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America

The website follows and applies that leadership and is essential to all this. We post new materials from BA and curate his whole body of work. We apply the science he’s developed to analyze and expose every key event in society, every week. posts BA’s timely leadership for the revcoms (revolutionary communists), including his social media posts which break this down for people every week and sometimes more. We act as a guiding and connecting hub for the growing revcom movement nationwide: not just showing what’s being done, but going into what’s right and what’s wrong and rapidly learning—and recruiting new people into what has to be a rapidly growing force.

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