The eerie red glare that covered Sydney's sky this morning is a sign of things to come.
As British science fiction writer John Wyndham might have said, when people in Sydney wake up to a sky from Mars, something is seriously wrong somewhere.
All future climate predictions point to a warmer, drier inland and an increase in the unusually strong winds that carried the dust storm from the South Australian border to the east coast.
However, this does not necessarily mean that today's dust storm is a direct product of climate change.
Although weather conditions today are extremely rare, such storms have occasionally hit the east coast before, and any single weather event can be attributed to random factors that could occur with or without the effect of human-induced climate change.
In the nation's interior, dust storms are a daily event.
It is the natural consequence of a very long drought, and the probable onset of another El Nino effect. The storm today is unusual in that particles were carried as far as the coast.
What seems certain is that future dust storms will get more frequent and probably bigger, as the climate warms. Along with other firmly grounded projections such as an increase in bushfires and a drop in rainfall, we can expect more dust storms in the coming decades as a consequence of climate change.
Research on dust storms is thin on the ground when compared with some other areas of climate-change research, although studies overseas suggest increased frequency in the past few years.
Reports from farmers in outback NSW suggest a surge in the number of storms in the past few years, as topsoil is dried and exposed to winds.
It may look like Doomsday, but the causes of today's storm are relatively prosaic.
Tiny particles lifted from the desert in South Australia are wafted high into the air and carried east. The ruddy haze is caused by sunlight refracting through iron-rich dust.
If it were possible to scrape the film of dust coating outdoor surfaces across Sydney together into a heap, it would probably weigh something like 1000 tonnes - equal to the huge storm that blanketed Melbourne in 1983.
Ben Cubby is the environment reporter for The Sydney Morning Herald.