Extreme weather is becoming a new commonplace. Studies linking extreme weather events such as heat waves, storms, and droughts to climate change are becoming more conclusive.
President Obama is right. All around the world, extreme weather is becoming a new commonplace (see how climate events are disrupting your own hometown with NRDC’s mapping tool). Studies linking extreme weather events such as heat waves, storms, and droughts to global climate change are becoming more conclusive. Already, 2013 has seen some of the most severe weather events in history, and the World Resources Institute’s infographic serves as a visual reminder of the impacts that global climate change is having on our livelihoods and ecosystems, not to mention the heavy economic toll in infrastructure damages, higher health care bills and insurance premiums, lost productivity, and lower of crop yields.
Extreme weather has plagued China particularly bad this year, with both the cold and heat at their historical highs. The average temperature in northern China--which relies heavily on coal for heating--dropped to a 42-year low of 18.7°F. Coupled with a weather inversion, the air pollution from coal-fired power became trapped and led to the “airpocolypse” – a spate of air pollution so severe that even state-run media criticized the government and urged the country to wean off coal. ...
Of course, the problem faced by every nation is cost. It takes money to install new pollution-reduction technologies and to upgrade existing infrastructure to better withstand weather events. However, if we don’t take action to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions now, we will continue to suffer the consequences of climate change, and we can all expect to see extreme weather events as the new norm.