Storms across the globe (l-r): North America, South America, Europe, Australia, Asia, Africa
Record warmth on sea and land is fueling killer weather around the globe. As man takes over from nature as the primary driver of climate, the need to eliminate global warming pollution and mobilize for increased climate disruption grows.
NORTH AMERICA Weeks after some of the strongest snowstorms ever to hit the East Coast, another powerful winter storm drenches the Northeast, kills eight people, and knocks out power for hundreds of thousands. Record warmth in North Dakota and Minnesota threatens another year of catastrophic flooding.
SOUTH AMERICA Tropical Storm 90Q, also known as Anita, the “second known tropical cyclone to form in the cooler South Atlantic Ocean,” is circling off the Argentina coast. The first known South Atlantic tropical cyclone, Catarina, was in 2004.
EUROPE “Hurricane-force winds and widespread flooding battered vast swathes of western France and left more than a million homes without power,” as the storm named Xynthia “killed at least 62 people across western Europe” in Spain, Portugal, France, Belgium, and Germany en route to Scandinavia.
AFRICA The death toll has risen to 36 people “and nearly 38,000 left homeless when tropical storm Hubert smashed into Madagascar this week.” Last month, stormy weather wreaked havoc across Egypt, as twenty-foot waves crashed into Alexandria and a hail storm killed four people in Cairo.
ASIA “A severe sandstorm hit Xinjiang’s Hotan Prefecture in northwest China on Friday, reducing visibility to zero.” The sandstorms are sweeping across China, and “are expected to hit Taiwan Tuesday.”
AUSTRALIA-PACIFIC Tomas, a Category Four cyclone, is plowing through Fiji, forcing thousands to evacuate. A “beast of a storm” ripped through Melbourne, Australia last week, “bringing with it hailstones the size of tennis balls” and causing $200 million in damage. Meanwhile flooding “which has smashed all the records known” in Queensland peaked in the country’s northeast, “parts of which have been in drought for almost a decade.” Category Four cyclone Ului now hovers off the Australian coast after the Solomon Islands narrowly escaped its wrath.
ANTARCTICA Okay, so Antarctica has enjoyed a sunny and balmy summer. Unfortunately, with the pleasant skies have come accelerated melting of the ice shelves, causing sea levels to rise, the U.S. Geological Survey and the British Antarctic Survey have found.
Instead of confronting this threat, however, America’s politicians are crying that limits on this deadly pollution could hurt the economy.
The Obama administration is beginning to take action, starting the Climate Change Adaptation Task Force, which released an interim progress report today. Unfortunately, this interim report is just vague bureaucratese (“improving and integrating science results in developing policy and a framework for Federal agency adaptation, as well as cross-cutting topics, including water resources management and international adaptation”).