October 2, 2022

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One third of Pakistan is under water.  Climate scientists are not surprised by the severe weather this summer.

One third of Pakistan is under water. Climate scientists are not surprised by the severe weather this summer.

According to climate scientists, the severe weather that marked large parts of the world this summer is just a prelude to what we can expect in the future.

A third of Pakistan is inundated with water as a result of the floods, and tens of millions of people have been affected. Nearly half a million people have taken refuge in overcrowded camps because their homes have been flooded. This image shows how the Bor company in the southwest of the country is under water.

This year’s summer brought us grim and exciting reports of the weather from all over the world: heat waves. severe dehydration Huge forest fires. Heavy rain. Flood.

The drought in Europe may be the worst in 500 years. Many of Europe’s biggest and most important students are dehydrated. According to experts, the situation is getting worse.

Forest fires are raging. Last week, Brazil had its worst wildfire day in 15 years. Europe, the United States and Asia were also affected by the extremely high temperatures. The environmental organization Greenpeace reports that China is experiencing the worst heat wave ever recorded in the country.

At the same time, a third of Pakistan is under water. With a population of 235 million, it is the fifth most populous country in the world.

The flood is the worst in more than ten years. At least 1,000 people were killed.

A number of scientists point to climate change as the cause of extreme weather.

Pakistani authorities have now confirmed 1,136 deaths in connection with the violent floods that have characterized the country throughout the summer. Here people flee the flooded areas of Jafarabad.

The new normal?

– It’s an unusual situation. No doubt about it, says Helge Drang. Climate researcher and professor at the University of Bergen.

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The latest report from the United Nations Climate Panel, released in August last year, created it in black and white: There is a statistical relationship between climate change and extreme weather. The trend was much stronger than in the previous report.

Heat waves are getting stronger. Precipitation becomes more intense. Hurricanes are getting stronger. There is no longer any doubt that climate change is caused by us humans.

What we see around the world now is very unfortunate, but unfortunately not unexpected. We are about to have a very different climate from what we know. Dring says he no longer surprises us.

This does not necessarily mean that the summer of 2023 will be the same this year. But severe weather will often come, according to Dring.

A man walks on a dry river bed in Cologne on August 15.

Summer weather is an alarm bell

Bjorn Samst, a senior researcher at the Cicero Climate Research Center, agrees.

– We’ve never seen a summer like this before. But we break new records every year. It’s really normal, but no less exciting, he says and continues:

– It’s getting warmer. When it is dry, it will be drier. And where it’s wet, says Samset, it gets wetter.

Both Drange and Samset believe this summer’s severe weather should be taken as a clear indication:

– Drange says the severe weather this summer is a warning and a wake-up call we must ensure climate change does not get completely out of control.

– The weather tells us clearly. Perhaps it could help launch the climate adaptations we need to make, Samst says.

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So far this year, 391 forest and tree fires have been recorded in Spain. They become more frequent and severe due to intense heat.

It is difficult to reach the climate target

Like a number of other Norwegian researchers, he believes it will be difficult to achieve the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees by 2050. This was revealed in a survey NRK completed.

The goal was set in Paris in 2015 and is called the Paris Agreement.

– There are only 30 years left until 2050. It is physically possible, but it will be difficult to manage in reality, says Samst.

– How worried are you in light of the bad weather we have seen this summer?

– I’m worried as much as I’ve been for a long time. Most climate scientists and I have followed extreme weather closely for many years. This year’s summer joins a trend in which the weather is becoming more extreme, he says.

Perhaps the summer of this year was a frightening harbinger of the fact that increasingly extreme weather will occur in several places at the same time.

In several places, only the sandbanks remain where the Loire River normally flows through France.

Have you ever been warned of a four-degree increase?

Despite the miserable judgments: Climate scientists believe there is still hope.

A few years ago I would have warned of a four-degree increase at the end of this century. I don’t do that anymore. It’s going in the right direction, Samst says, but it’s going very slowly.

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Drange thinks we’re at a tipping point.

I have a general desire and acceptance to do something.

But: Dring thinks Europe’s energy crisis is hanging on its wheels.

Many countries now use coal and other forms of energy that emit large amounts of greenhouse gases to cover energy shortages from other sources. hit last week Norwegian Petroleum Directorate He emphasized that the need to expand gas export capacity from the Barents Sea had increased.

– You can understand that for the time being. But he says we can’t go on like this in the long term.