The Summer of Climate Disasters

By: Samantha Walker

Within the last month there have been a magnitude of whether related disasters from all parts of the world.

There has been talk of climate change and the threat of the irreparable damage of disregard for the environment, but this past summer has seen an almost endless list of catastrophes. Some of these environmental disasters, include rising temperatures outside of a location’s usual whether pattern, floods, higher UV ratings, earthquakes, and hurricanes.

While last summer will forever be remembered for the coronavirus pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement protests, the summer of 2021 will be noted for the uncharacteristic whether globally.

China has seen deadly floods throughout the country since July 17, because of the highest record of rainfall in Chinese history. The floods ravishing the country swept away people and cars alike, caused power outages, and shut down rail and air travel.

The most known story to come out of China aligning with this disaster is the subway station that flooded, leading to closed train cars full of people to fill with water up to riders’ necks.

China is not the only country that saw deadly flooding recently. Germany and parts of Belgium saw deadly floods of their own as record rainfall traveled through Europe.

Germany saw more than 15 centimeters of rain in roughly 24 hours, which washed away cars, caused massive landslides, and overflowed rivers.

As of July 20th, the death toll is at 196. This number includes 165 German citizens and 31 Belgium citizens.

Though German scientists were able to predict the unbelievable rainstorm coming, there was no belief that the storm would kill so many citizens.

When asked about the situation by Science Magazine, scientist Hannah Cloke stated that “we should not be seeing this number of people dying in 2021 from floods. It just should not be happening.”

North America was not forgotten in this climate emergency that has rocked the world.

Canada and north-western United States saw an unprecedented rise in temperature.

In Vancouver, Canada alone, local police responded to more than 130 sudden death calls.

Canada broke their heat record for more than three days, reaching as high as 49C or 120F. Prior to this event, Canada has never in its history recorded a temperature higher than 45C.

Meghan Fandrich, a resident of Lytton, Canada, stated that it was “almost impossible” to go outside during the heatwave.

It is important to also keep in mind that residential homes in this region rarely have air conditioning, as it is not necessary for the average climate.

In the United States, Portland, Organ saw temperatures as high as 116F. This is roughly 10 degrees higher than the city’s previous record of 107F.

Many scientists and meteorologists are concerned that the extreme heat will lead to another summer of deadly wildfires, like those seen in California in years prior.

United States President Joe Biden labeled climate change, and global warming specifically, as the reasoning behind the heat wave and the uncharacteristically snowy whether Texas experienced last winter.

According to experts, climate change is expected to increase the frequency of extreme weather events, such as heatwaves.

While there is not much a single person can do to fight the current climate crisis that is causing these events, scientists have highlighted different ways major companies and governments can do their part to slow down global warming. Some of these suggestions, include investing in clean energy, producing more eco-friendly products, and, generally, creating a more sustainable infrastructure.

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