How Global Warming Fueled Five Extreme Weather Events

Closer than ever before, extreme weather events are occurring more and more frequently on a global scale. The increasing frequency of catastrophically devastating events such as floods, thunderstorms, droughts and hurricanes are likely partly due to global warming, a phenomenon caused by humans releasing large quantities of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Over the course of humanity’s relatively brief existence, five particularly devastating weather events have been linked to global warming.

One noteworthy event connected to global warming is the phenomenon of heat waves. Heat waves, which occur more often and last longer due to global warming, often cause severe physical harm to individuals, such as the cases of those who died during a 2018 heat wave in Quebec City. On July 2 that year, the province hit its hottest day ever recorded, with temperatures at a staggering 41.2 degrees Celsius. Health officials from the area reported many contributing factors toward these deaths, such as air pollution, low air quality, dehydration, and an overall lack of preparation. The clear correlation between global warming and heat wave intensity has had devastating effects on numerous parts of the world.

Secondly, heavy downpours and floods, which are caused by elevated temperatures and high sea levels, are another extreme weather event connected to global warming. Floods, especially within cities, put the lives of many in danger and can cause enormous damage to structures, resources, agriculture and wildlife.Take, for instance, the floods that occurred in England back in summer 2018; the country saw over 9000 homes flooded as a result of several days of torrential rain. The floods also destroyed essential infrastructure such as railway lines, leaving thousands of people stranded.

Global warming also affects the duration of severe droughts, which can lead to food shortages, water scarcity and land degradation. Canada experienced a particularly puzzling drought between May and August 2017, which scientists believe was caused by an unusually strong ridge of high pressure extending from eastern into western Canada, resulting in record-breaking low levels of precipitation. The drought caused around $5.5 billion in economic damage, mostly associated with the agriculture industry, leading to numerous concerns surrounding the water security of the nation.

Fourthly, global warming has a serious effect on hurricanes and typhoons. These storms are caused by warm air rising and forming spinning columnsof wind, and they become extremely destructive when they happen over land with high-speed winds and flooding damage. The 2017 Atlantic hurricane season is considered to be the most active in recorded history, with numerous storms battering the coastline of the Americas. It has been suggested the record-breaking season was accelerated by global warming, with warmer sea surface temperatures leading to the higher intensity of the storms. The disasters caused close to 200 fatalities, creating a harrowing reminder of the immense power of these extreme weather events.

Finally, freak blizzards have been linked to global warming. Blizzards occur due to the extreme atmospheric conditions created by a combination of very cold air and warmer air from a low-pressure system. Though people are used to mild winters, the intense snowstorms that struck Olympia in Washington State and Rome in Italy in February 2018 have been associated with global warming. Scientists have argued that the unseasonal warm weather that occurred before the snowstorms came heightened the risks of rare weather events akin to those observed across Europe and America during those same weeks.

In conclusion, it is evident that global warming has contributed to the severity and frequency of five of the most damaging extreme weather events of our era: heat waves, floods, droughts, hurricanes, and freak blizzards. Although these events can be partially attributed to natural causes, global warming is one factor out of many that will influence their future intensity and frequency. To prevent further tragedies, we must take steps now to reduce our carbon emissions to mitigate these extreme weather events and their impacts.

Ernestine Warren is a passionate environmentalist, author, and advocate for the protection of the Earth's precious resources. She has written extensively on the causes and effects of global warming, providing accurate information to help educate people on how to combat this major global problem. With a background in science and biology, Ernestine has the tools to help develop solutions that meet everyone's needs while minimizing environmental damage. Her hope is that each person can do their part for the planet and make a real difference to help reduce climate change.

Leave a Comment