No one will be surprised when I say, “2020 has been a turbulent year.” And while Covid-19 has dominated the world’s news, other things have been going on. This year saw multiple extreme weather events that not only cost billions of dollars, but also thousands of lives.
According to a study conducted by Christian Aid, extreme events have cost the world over 145 billion dollars in damages and over 3,000 deaths. This study also does not take into consideration all of the damages caused by wildfires, thus, the total is significantly higher.
Many of the events that caused this damage include hurricanes, cyclones, windstorms, and floods. All of these can be linked back to climate change.
Climate Change Makes Extreme Weather Stronger
Climate change has been linked by numerous studies to the increase in extreme weather conditions like hurricanes, floods, and wildfires.
For instance, hurricanes form over warm water, and as the world’s temperature continues to rise, so does the ocean temperature. Thus, hurricanes are more likely to form and they are more likely to be powerful storms.
And in just 2020, 30 named storms occurred, which broke the record for most named storms in a hurricane season.
The increase in temperature is also raising the sea level. Which is making storm surges more destructive as they bypass coastal defenses. Thus, floods are happening more frequently and, by their nature, end up costing the most money to recover from.
And of course, there are forest fires.
As the extreme heat waves continue to affect regions of the planet and long droughts plague forests, they become susceptible to fire. This is why California suffered over 4 million acres of forest being burnt down.
Extreme Weather Is Preventable
While extreme weather events like hurricanes will continue even if we can halt climate change, we can limit their intensity and frequency.
Greenhouse gases are trapping heat and causing the temperature to rise. By curbing emissions and employing carbon removal technology, we can prevent the temperature from getting out of hand.