(July 7, 2016)
It seems every day there is another story about unusual weather somewhere in the world. The longest drought in California has killed 66 million trees in the Sierra Nevada. An airplane can’t land in Phoenix because the asphalt on the runway is so hot it would explode the tires. Palm Springs hits 50 C, like parts of India. We have our own serious forest fires (remember Fort McMurray?) that seem to start before the last one is extinguished.
Acute water shortages in urban areas (such as in Karachi, Pakistan) are becoming a serious threat to political stability as well as to human health. Ethiopia is facing its worst drought (and corresponding famine) in 50 years. Elsewhere, there are heavy floods yet again in Europe, while the Caddy Lake area in Manitoba is under water for the first time anyone can remember.
Tornado season is just spinning up here, but down south, it started early (there was even a tornado in China). No doubt any serious increase in the number of hurricanes this year will just be the fault of El Niño.
Global heat records have been broken every month for more than the last year, but again, it’s just a fluke, merely what happens every once in a while.
The words we use to describe “just bad weather” are evidence of a dangerous delusion. The bad weather we are experiencing is not an accident of planetary cycles, but the consequence of a warming planet with a changing climate. It will only get more frequent, not less extreme.extreme weather