Extreme weather events are happening all over the world at the same time. In parts of Arizona, Texas, and Florida, the heat index will exceed 110 degrees Fahrenheit. The Midwest is experiencing a severe drought, while New York and Vermont have seen heavy rainfall leading to flash floods. Wildfire smoke has also affected the Midwest and Northeast, causing poor air quality. These events show that global warming can worsen extreme weather and put a strain on resources.
For example, the U.S. and Australia have shared firefighting resources in the past, but in 2019 and 2020, they had to compete for personnel and equipment as both countries dealt with wildfires at the same time. The Western U.S. is facing a megadrought due to increased heat and dry conditions, which have also contributed to more frequent and severe wildfires. Pakistan experienced extreme heat followed by devastating floods, putting a strain on limited resources. And states that usually support each other during natural disasters may struggle to help each other when they are both dealing with similar emergencies.
These problems are largely caused by climate change. Although periodic weather patterns like El Niño can also contribute, reducing greenhouse gas emissions is key to mitigating the effects of climate change. However, progress in cutting emissions has been slow. Experts warn that if we don’t take stronger action, extreme weather events will continue to worsen.
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