Extreme weather and a changing climate

Is there a connection between extreme weather events (torrential rain, polar cold, heatwaves, extended droughts, hail, hurricanes, tornadoes, and more) and a changing climate? Yes. Are extreme weather events happening more frequently? Yes. Are these extreme weather events having a greater impact–-deaths, economic losses, human migration, loss of plant and animal species and even extinction, worsening human physical and mental health, and more. Yes, again….

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What will the climate in your city be like in 2050?

What will the climate in your city be like in 2050? The changing climate is driving hotter temperatures and longer and more severe droughts–which, in turn, can lead to even higher temperatures. This combination can make both rural areas and cities unliveable. To understand the issues, see: Baghdad’s record heat offers glimpse of world’s climate change future (Louisa Loveluck and Chris Mooney, The Washington Post,…

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The consequences and costs of climate risks

Climate risks are increasing in the United States and in many other parts of the world. Yet, some areas that are particular climate “hot spots”–increasingly prone to excessive heat or drought or powerful hurricanes or floods or sea level rise or destructive wildfires, etc. and sometimes more than just one risk–are currently seeing more population growth and development than areas with lesser risks. Why is…

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Extreme weather and a changing climate

Our climate is changing, and rapidly. The evidence is all around us. One result of our changing climate is the increased frequency of weather and weather-related extremes across the Earth–stifling and dangerous heatwaves, prolonged and profound drought, torrential rain leading to deadly and destructive flooding, inexorable sea level rise, explosive wildfires and then smoke affecting skies, air quality, and health thousands of miles away, lives…

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Race and class and heat in cities

Hot temperatures in cities and towns are not experienced the same by residents. Neighborhoods with more minority residents (especially), neighborhoods with lower-income residents, and neighborhoods with residents with lower education levels “experience hotter temperatures during summer heatwaves than nearby white residents” and residents with higher incomes and more formal education. This trend has been documented for years in major cities but research also shows that…

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Drought in California

Water, drought, and the western United States

The western United States (including parts of the Great Plains) is going through an historic period of drought–a level of extended drought that the region has not seen in potentially hundreds of years. “All told, nearly 85% of the West is suffering through drought conditions right now, according to the US Drought Monitor. Almost half the region is now in an extreme or exceptional drought,…

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