Cold and Heat to the Extreme

We must prepare to face a period of extreme climatic anomalies and phenomena that will cause severe damage

While the Australian city of Adelaide reached temperatures of 46.6 degrees Celsius, a large part of Canada and 14 states in the Midwest and Eastern U.S. have received an Arctic cold snap which has seen temperatures fall to minus 40 degrees Celsius. Up to now, 12 people have died. In cities like Chicago, the icy temperatures have reached around minus 50 degrees Celsius, including the wind chill, and have brought daily life and productivity to a standstill. The scene across the U.S. is one of cancelled flights, closed schools, empty offices, and icy streets and highways. Meanwhile, in Australia, the high temperatures are leaving millions of fish dead and emergency measures in place due to the extremely high ozone levels.

Although these countries are geographically worlds apart, the phenomena are indeed related. The climate varies significantly, which makes it difficult to establish a direct relationship between such extremes and climate change, but for a while now scientists have warned that global warming may also affect the general atmospheric circulation conditions. That would explain the abnormal displacement of these icy winds that were confined to the Arctic.

In any case, one of the manifestations of climate change is the alteration of the climate, with extreme manifestations becoming more frequent and intense. Unfortunately, many of the leaders who need to take measures to stop it are not up to the challenge. In some cases, like President Donald Trump, they give the impression that they don’t even understand it. As a matter of fact, the Paris climate agreement found the greatest resistance from the U.S., who are the biggest contributors to global warming. The issue is that when the targets for emission reductions are met, it will still take a while to notice the beneficial effects. We should therefore demand more ambitious targets to reduce emissions and at the same time prepare ourselves to deal with a period of persistent climatic anomalies, with extreme events that will cause severe damage.

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