By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
(Worthy News) – Apocalyptic scenes ranging from droughts to massive fires and floods are making life difficult for millions of people worldwide. For example, thousands have fled wildfires in Greece where, after a small break, another heatwave with temperatures of over 40 degrees (104 Fahrenheit) was on its way — with the potential to worsen the situation.
Firefighters in Mediterranean nations including Italy, Turkey, North Macedonia, Bulgaria, and the Balkans have struggled to contain the fires for weeks. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called the fires “the worst” in his country’s history.
Blazes are also raging on the U.S West Coast, in Canada, and in Russia, where the forestry protection agency has recorded about 240 fires on about 3.5 million hectares (8.65 million acres) on Monday. The Yakutia region is particularly affected. In addition, smoke is drifting south, to the border with Mongolia. The wildfire smoke has even reached the North Pole, a first in recorded history, said the U.S space agency NASA.
In Northern California, emergency services are battling the Dixie Fire. With over 80,000 hectares burned, it is the second-largest fire in California history, officials said.
The wildfires come while the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report warns that extreme weather events such as droughts will become more frequent in the future. The same panel believes that human-caused global warming has also contributed to massive flooding.
In Europe, severe flooding struck Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands, killing some 200 people, mainly in German areas. Climate researchers claim warmer air in the Mediterranean region, for instance, can cause the air to absorb more water vapor. That, in turn, falls to the ground in the form of heavy rains and can lead to severe flooding, these experts warn.
More than 300 people have also died in heavy floods hitting China’s central Henan province, where hundreds of thousands lost their homes. India, Myanmar, and Bangladesh are also struggling with severe flooding.
The monsoon in India was more severe than it had been for decades, with more than 40 people killed in a landslide alone, authorities said. In Myanmar, too, people are fighting the murky floods. In Bangladesh, villages housing Rohingya refugees were flooded.
African countries are also battling floods. Lagos, Nigeria’s economic hub, was flooded in July. The growing city’s sewage system is inadequate, noted the DW network. In South Sudan, some 90,000 people were affected by flooding following heavy rains, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). It prompted thousands of people to flee their homes, aid workers noted.
Several climate researchers believe global warming increases the likelihood of extreme weather and related fires and floods. “Extreme weather is now part of our future,” Like Caesar, a climate researcher at Maynooth University in Ireland told Germany’s broadcaster Deutsche Welle (DW).
Other experts link increased fires and floods to more people living and building in previously unpopulated areas without proper environmental management.
They point out that even predicted sea-level rises might be manageable. For example, IPCC estimates sea level could rise at least more than two feet (0.8 meters) by 2100.
One-third of the Netherlands is below sea level, including areas nearly seven meters (22 feet) below sea level, already for hundreds of years.
Some climate scientists have criticized prominent U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for saying the world would end in 12 years. And Swedish school strike activist Greta Thunberg also suggested that human civilization will end by 2030.
Before handing over his climate global warming message to the next generation, former Vice President Al Gore said in 2006 that the world would end in ten years.
With humanity still thriving, experts point out that in 1931, some 3.7 million people died from natural disasters, in 2020 that was roughly 15,000 people. That decline happened while the global population quadrupled.
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