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We created a year of extreme weather maps

We created a year of extreme weather maps

Cara Buckley

According to a New York Times analysis based on data from weather stations, the United States set more heat and cold records in 2014 than any other year after 1994.

The Times analysed temperature data from more that 7,800 weather stations in the United States. Since at least 1970, records have been set in the country. However, 2021 is a standout among recent years.

These records were dominated by heat waves. Last year’s record was 8.3% of all weather stations in the country. This is the highest level since at least 1948 when digital weather observations were first recorded by the U.S. government.

Why it matters:Extreme temperature extremes often show the most visible effects from climate change.

New Mexico is home to me. On hot summer days, vehicle emissions react with sunlight to create so much ozone in the air that it becomes unhealthy. People with asthma and other respiratory diseases. There are days when smoke particles from large wildfires, often hundreds of miles away can be a danger to your health.

And this trend has been increasing since 2000, according To Research I did last week, we have some days when both types of pollution occur at unhealthy levels simultaneously — not just in New Mexico but throughout the West. That means millions of people in the region are exposed to a “double whammy,” as one researcher put it, of the harmful pollutants on more days each year.

The researchers blamed extreme heat and worsening wildfires for the increasing frequency of what they called “co-occurrences” of bad ozone and smoke pollution throughout the region. And they suggested that climate change is playing a role — which makes sense, since global warming has been linked both to more extreme heat events and to more large fires.

Quotable: “Something may not necessarily have a high likelihood of killing you personally in the short term,” said Daniel Swain, a climate scientist and one of the authors of the study. “But if you impose that same risk on tens of millions of people over and over again, the societal burden is actually very high.”

“A kick in the pants.” That’s what the director Adam McKay said he wanted his new movie, “Don’t Look Up,” to be.

A Netflix chart-topper, it stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence as scientists trying desperately to get leaders and the public to take seriously a planet-killing comet that’s hurtling toward Earth. McKay and DiCaprio use the comet as a metaphor for climate changes. McKay and Jonah Hill, who play the White House chief staffer in the film, have been encouraging viewers and others to get involved in climate action.

As I wrote in This is my article for this weekOther Hollywood films have had real world consequences: After watching a 1983 TV film, President Ronald Reagan resolved not to allow nuclear war to happen. But there’s debate whether “Don’t Look Up” can do that — and whether McKay’s climate change metaphor worked at all.

Numbers:Netflix claims that the movie is its most watched film, with 152,000,000 hours of viewings in a week.

Somini Sengupta is a climate reporter and discusses her inspiration to become an journalist. IdeasUnwinding and relaxation.

More skiers in the United States are doing something you wouldn’t expect: skiing uphill. Both climate change and the coronavirus are the main reasons.

Ski touring is a combination of cross-country skiing and downhill skiing that has been popular for a long time in Europe. In North America, though, it’s generally only been practiced by athletes and mountaineers who want to trek up into the backcountry where they can ski on untouched powder.

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The pandemic in 2020 decimated all resorts across the nation. Ski touring became the only option for recreational skiers to reach the slopes.

Now that lifts are open again and the snow is melting, touring seems to be a more secure and reliable way to ski on a warming earth. Over a million Americans used specialized tour gear last year. “It’s not linear growth,” said Drew Hardesty, a skier and forecaster at the Utah Avalanche Center. “It’s exponential.”

It’s safer because, experts say, climate change has made avalanche risks more unpredictable in the backcountry. It’s more reliable because warming has decreased snow cover. Resorts have the option of adding artificial snow to managed trails.

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