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This year’s record-breaking climate disasters usher in a terrible new normal

This year’s record-breaking climate disasters usher in a terrible new normal

A lone paddleboarder on the Columbia River in Oregon during an abnormal heat wave in the Pacific Northwest on Aug. 13.

This year’s devastating climate disasters, while breaking records, are only a glimpse at the worsening heat, fires, storms and floods expected in years to come.

This year’s United Nations Climate reportMultiple times Similar reportsFor Years, with even greater certainty: Humans are the “unequivocal” cause of climate change, and the window to avoid catastrophic living conditions worldwide due to global warming is rapidly closing.

“We’re looking at a long-term, undeniable trend,” said Astrid Caldas is a senior climate scientist at Union of Concerned Scientists. She noted that the last seven years have been the hottest on record, adding, “Imagine what we’re in for if warming continues unabated.”

“Climate change is here now, and we need to act now to keep it in check.”

Climate experts Multiple calls to governments and corporations to reduce fossil fuel emissions to stave off the worst of the climate crisis’s effects.

Here are some of this year’s historic climate disasters — which we can expect more of in the future.

A lone paddleboarder on the Columbia River in Oregon during an abnormal heat wave in the Pacific Northwest on Aug. 13.
One paddleboarder stands alone on the Columbia River in Oregon during the Pacific Northwest heat wave of August 13.

MICHAEL HANSON via Getty Images

Extreme Heat

July Earth’s hottest monthEver recorded Temperatures rose to 100 degreesCalifornia and the Pacific Northwest are home to the majority of these problems. There are hundreds of ways to dieHeat-related causes, some victims being Undocumented farmworkers.

“2021 once again highlights the narrative that it is no longer a ‘new normal’ but normal,” said Marshall Shepherd, director of the University of Georgia’s atmospheric sciences program. “The bigger concern now is the next phase — continued acceleration of the pace of such extremes.”

A ReportThe Adrienne-Arsht Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Center projected that extreme heat could kill tens to thousands of Americans each and every year in the future if no significant action is taken to address the climate crisis. The coming years will see extreme heat affect almost all U.S. regions, with a disproportionate impact on Black and Latinx populations.

“The climate of the 20th Century — which society’s infrastructure was designed for — no longer exists.”

– Jeff Masters is a Yale Climate Connections meteorologist

The Windy fire in the Sequoia National Forest near Johnsondale, California, burned nearly 100,000 acres.
Near Johnsondale, California, the Windy fire of the Sequoia National Forest burned almost 100,000 acres.

PATRICK T. Fallon via Getty Images

Record Wildfires

In California — which is Under a drought emergencyAfter recording its The driest year in nearly a century — wildfires have continued to worsen. The Dixie fire in Northern California grew to the size of the Dixie this July. Largest single fire in state history. Only the last five year saw the occurrence of eight of the ten largest fires ever recorded in California.

Only two fires California history has never seen the Sierra Nevada crossed. — and both took place this year, just a month apart.

“There is California has never seen fire activity like this before,” Thom Porter, chief of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, said in August as the Caldor fire near Lake Tahoe showed an “unprecedented” spread of more than 20,000 acres in one day. “Every acre can and will burn in this state,” the Cal Fire chief warned.

A storm-damaged house on Sept. 4, after Hurricane Ida hit Grand Isle, Louisiana.
After Hurricane Ida struck Grand Isle, Louisiana on Sept. 4, this storm-damaged house was destroyed.

Sean Rayford via Getty Images

Devastating Storms And Floods

This year was the Third most active Atlantic hurricane season everAccording to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, it was. It was the first hurricane season to have so many storms in a row. The agency had previously listed 21 storm names.

Hurricane IdaIt made landfall on the Louisiana coast in September as Category 4 storm. It caused more than two dozen deathsIn the state that was before moving to New York, where heavy rainfalls brought a flash flood emergency to New York City. Minimum 50 deathsThe area.

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The previous month At least 21 people were killed in floods in Tennessee.hundreds of homes and killed many more. The next month, Alabama floods killed at least fourPeople, even children.

In mid-December Typhoon Rai struck the Philippines. over 375 people deadHundreds of thousands were forced to flee.

“Climate change is here now, and we need to act now to keep it in check.”

Astrid Caldas is a senior climate scientist at Union of Concerned Scientists.

Conservation psychologist Susan Clayton said that “thanks to climate change, we can expect to see more of these ‘unusual’ climate events in the future,” adding that there will also be “increasing disparities, such that disadvantaged communities, who often live in areas that are more vulnerable to the effects of climate change, are more severely impacted.”

Jeff Masters, a Meteorologist writing for Yale Climate Connections, echoed that “the extreme weather events of 2021 were a reminder that the climate of the 20th Century — which society’s infrastructure was designed for — no longer exists.”

The scientist urged governments to prepare for “more intense downpours, higher storm surges, and more intense droughts, heat waves, and fires,” adding that “above all, we must support the transition to a clean-energy economy and stop burning fossil fuels.”



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