Climate Change Is Coming to Rich Countries


Over the weekend, I wrote an article about the rich world facing extreme weather disasters intensified by climate change. Since then, the sky above New York City, where I live, has turned an ominous shade of red due to the darkness. smoke from forest fires on the other side of the continent. A fire, Bootleg, make fun of the weather outside the west. British Columbia declared a state of emergency wildfires led to evacuation orders.

Britain’s weather service released first time over temperature warning. And especially to the extent of the shock at the level of destruction in a German village hit hard by last week’s flooding, Chancellor Angela Merkel said: “I don’t think the German has a word for destruction.”

Beyond words, many countries around the world simply don’t have what it takes to adapt to the extreme weather events that are plaguing us. This is a reality even in countries with facilities like Europe and North America, and it’s also countries that, in the last century, have pumped out most of the greenhouse gases that have already warmed the atmosphere and spoiled the air. .

Newer emitters weren’t immune either. Heavy rains hit India’s mega-city Mumbai on Sunday, knocking down homes, killing dozens and shutting down the city’s water filtration plant, according to Indian news reports. Record heavy rains hit central China on Tuesday, dragging cars, flooding the subway and cutting off electricity in the city. Zhengzhou, a city of five million. China is currently the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases.

As I wrote, the world is “not ready to slow down nor live with climate change”. you can take a look here.

The past few months have been a surprising time in the Western United States, and not in a good way. First there was a severe drought. This was followed by scorching heat waves, including the following. in the Pacific Northwest this was large enough to astonish climate scientists.

Drought and heat waves continue. And now there are forest fires. Scores are rising across the West, but one in particular stands out. This is the Fugitive Fire in Southern Oregon, and not only is it the largest fire ever (600 square miles and rising) this year, it’s behaving in extreme ways that have intrigued and confused firefighters.

It produces huge clouds that reach high in the atmosphere and cause at least one lightning strike. It is so large that it forces the winds to separate and circulate around it. A fire hose might even have created an appallingly large vortex of hot air, flames and smoke with winds strong enough to flatten trees.

What really makes the Runaway Fire so unusual is not that this type of extreme behavior occurs. They have occurred in other fires before. But it usually takes a day or two before things get back to normal (or as normal as a wildfire). But with Bootleg, extreme events have been going on for close to two weeks. Firefighters had to retreat from their positions several times as the fire roared over the fire escapes. They’ve had enough already and are hoping the fire subsides so they can finally get it under control.

quotation: “Normally the weather predicts what the fire will do,” said Marcus Kauffman, spokesman for the Oregon Department of Forestry. “In this case, the fire predicts what the weather will do.”

Related: Forest fires are getting worse. Here’s why and what to do to protect your home.

There are more than 80 big fires it’s on fire right now In 13 American states, many more in Canada, and their effects are felt thousands of miles from the flames. Air quality was in the unhealthy range for most of the East Coast Wednesday morning, with haze moving south into Washington, DC and Virginia.

Based on modeling from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, we created an interactive map that shows how smoke from fires travels across North America to reach the East Coast. you can see here.

Last month, I flew to Northern California for what I thought would be a simple task about wineries that cannot afford insurance because of the risk they face from wildfires. It turns out that the story was more than just the wine.

What I found was a warning of how difficult it would be for American agriculture to withstand global warming.

In Napa Valley, climate change is already destroying the vintages of winemakers who produce some of the nation’s best cabernet sauvignons, zinfandels and other reds. Drought means less water for irrigation, even as higher temperatures make irrigation more important.

Surviving grapes can be ruined by smoke from wildfires that destroyed most of last year’s crop. And making things even more difficult, the same wildfires now prevent wineries from getting insurance.

In response, I wrote this weekThe winemakers I spend time with are trying everything they can, from spraying some form of sunscreen on vines and grapes to filling empty reservoirs with recycled wastewater. But the valley, once a showcase of the best of American agriculture, is showing the limits of adapting to an increasingly warming world.

When it comes to climate change, we often focus on what we might lose on the way. What about places and things that are now disappearing?

In their new book coming out this week, “Lost Places AtlasChristina Conklin, an artist and writer, and Marina Psaros, a sustainability expert, combine science, maps and stories to show how 20 coastal regions and experiences, such as corals in Kenya and lobster fishing in Maine, are changing with climate.

We talked to Ms. Psaros about the book. Responses have been edited for length and clarity.

Q. Why create an atlas instead of a more typical climate book?

For a long time I have worked around the science and policy of climate change with public participation. And what I’ve seen is that people get really angry when they’re scared or feeling hopeless. So thinking from the perspective of an atlas, using art and storytelling to talk about science and politics was a way to make the subject more accessible to a wider range of people.

Q. Why did you focus on coastal areas?

The health of our oceans will truly determine the health of our planet. Marine organisms have made our atmosphere a welcoming place through millions of years of photosynthesis, and these tiny life forms continue to provide half the oxygen that land-dwellers use. That is, we are literally dependent on the ocean for the breath we take.

Q. Your book is both scary and hopeful. Why is it important to strike that balance when discussing climate change?

There is much that can be done and much that can be saved. And so, I think helping people recover from some kind of shock and admiration, helping them get back to the wonders and opportunities out there, helps people grapple with what happened and stay engaged for the future.

Q. What do you hope readers will feel or do after finishing your book?

Maybe you will be upset because this is something we have to do. We are losing species, places, ecosystems and people. There is loss and there will be trade-offs. But it’s not about closing. It’s about grieving and then seeing what is to be saved and how we saved it.

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