Weather catastrophes linked to global warming?
October 1, 2010
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In the past year, record breaking weather patterns and natural disasters have struck countries across the globe. According to the Associated Content many scientists are beginning to think that global warming is directly linked to these weather catastrophes, which have killed thousands already this year.While some call global warming a theory, others call it a proven set of facts. Merriam-Webster defines global warming “as an increase in the earth’s atmospheric and oceanic temperatures widely predicted to occur due to an increase in the greenhouse effect resulting especially from pollution.”
According to the Associated Content, The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said “that this year’s weather catastrophes that have killed thousands already have been caused by the rapidly increasing effects of global warming.” The intensity and frequency of this year’s weather catastrophes have made it difficult to ignore the fact that something big is changing across the globe.
Pakistan has experienced record rainfall extreme flooding this year. More than 1,500 people have been killed and hundreds of thousands have been stranded. Authorities fear that 3.5 million children are at risk for disease due to the unsanitary living condition in Pakistan reported by The English News Channel on Aug. 16.
Another weather catastrophe has occurred in Russia with the dramatic rise of temperatures. Bloomberg reports that this record heat wave may already have taken 15,000 lives and cost the economy $15 billion, as a result of fires and drought.
In some of the worst flooding China has seen in years, 1,200 people have died, 500 were missing, and 45,000 people were evacuated, according to the Associated Content. The recent flooding has caused many landslides in Zhouqu, China.
Furthermore, heavy rains have hit countries all around the world causing sinkholes in many different areas. In Guatemala, Tropical Storm Agatha caused a major sinkhole that swallowed an entire building, according to the Huffington Post.
These disasters are just a few among many weather catastrophes that have ravaged the globe in the past year. The question is: what has caused them?
Global warming theory suggests that increasing global temperatures will continue to intensify weather phenomena, according to The New York Times. The model projects heavier precipitation in some areas, more intense droughts in others, and an increase in record-breaking heat waves.
Chief of Climate Analysis at the National Climate Data Center in Asheville, N.C. Jay Lawrimore stated to People’s World that, “Extreme events are occurring with greater frequency, and in many cases with greater intensity.”
If that is true then we will see more severe weather catastrophes in upcoming years.
“This is not a coincidence,” meteorologist Paul Douglas said in a news conference held at Douglas’ Excelsior weather forecasting company. “We’ve had an accumulation of coincidences. I tell people, ‘strip out the ideology. Look at the numbers. Look at the science.’ This has been an amazing year.”
There are many who still do not believe that global warming is an issue we need to worry about, but the facts are becoming more difficult to ignore as the world begins to feel the effects of climate change directly.
Assistant Professor of Sociology and Anthropology Tom Guthrie noted that “global warming not only has environmental effects, but also has social and economic effects as well.”
Guthrie points out that poorer regions of the world are being more devastated by these weather disasters than countries that have the economic means to rebuild or cope with the disasters. The issue of global climate change quickly becomes more complex, when you take into account the issues presented by social and economic inequities.
It is much more than a one-step problem we have to fix.
“By the time the last piece of the puzzle falls into place – and even the skeptics come around and say ‘yes, you’re right.’ It will probably be too late,” Douglas said in a news conference.
Global warming is one of the most serious challenges facing us today. To protect future generations from the effects of global warming, many are beginning to call for immediate action.
On the Stop Global Warming website, Chase Utley, Philadelphia Phillies second- baseman, states: “It’s real, it’s a danger ,and it threatens the well-being of all of us.”
More prominent figures and celebrities are stepping up each day to address the world and call attention to the problem at hand.
While the implications of global warming have been frequently pushed aside in the past, this year’s weather-related disasters have brought the topic back to the table as a high-priority issue that demands not only consideration, but action, as well.