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2021’s weather disasters brought home the reality of climate change


Members of the Canadian Forces fill sandbags to create a makeshift dike behind houses in Abbotsford, British Columbia, where last month’s rainfall led to catastrophic floods. From punishing heat in North America to record-breaking floods in Europe and Asia, this year’s weather showed us what it looks like to live in a world that has warmed by 2 degrees Fahrenheit (1.1 degrees Celsius) over the past century.

“Dangerous climate change is already here. That’s a harsh reality we need to recognize,” says Michael Wehner, an extreme weather researcher at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Extreme weather is already taking homes, businesses, and lives. Canada’s recent floods may be the most expensive in the country’s history, potentially costing an estimated $7.5 billion . The 18 weather disasters that hit the United States in 2021 together cost more than $100 billion, according to the most recent estimates .

In August, Wehner and other scientists on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change published a report indicating they were now more confident than ever that climate change is influencing the world’s worst weather events, including these five. Pacific Northwest heatwave

On June 27, Portland residents fill the Oregon Convention Center, which became a temporary cooling […]

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