It’s easy to forget about the extreme weather event from several days ago when there is a disaster du jour on which to focus! Seeing events from the week laid out photographically like this is helpful when trying to understand the enormity of what’s happening to our planet. It paints a more complete picture….connects the dots.
Like last week’s blog “Week in Photos,” here are five events from the 26th week of 2013. Yes, we’re exactly half way through the year! Click on the image to see it in it’s full glory….and there is a Pinterest Version below too.
Enjoy and HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY, a little early!
The Canadian city of Calgary was transformed into a “North American Venice” when a historic flood swept across the city. Unfortunately scientists predict that it probably won’t be the last flood of such magnitude the city will see. It’s estimated that the Canadian gross domestic product will slashed by 2 billion dollars as a result of the disaster, which decimated tourism, retail sales and the energy industry.
Since when is it 94 degrees in Alaska? The answer? Since the jet stream started wobbling across the country like a drunk driver. Scientists have recorded that this important flow of air over the continent has been moving erratically north and south of it’s usual path, causing everything from the Alaskan heat wave to the floods in Alberta, Canada. Fortunately for fans of chilly weather up north, it’s behaving more normally. For now.
Once upon a time, bark beetles would be blamed for the frequent wildfires in the Western US. After all, they kill trees and make them more susceptible to fire. But scientists have wised up, and now many regard the changing climate as the primary cause of the massive wildfires. Longer period of dryer weather turn the forest into tinder just waiting for a spark. Dryer weather also allows these deadly fire to spread faster- 500 homes have been destroyed so far in the blaze along with 70,000 acres of forest. Vacationers (and everyone else, for that matter) have had to flee for their lives.
Flooding is an annual occurrence in India, but the current rainy season has proved to be deadly. Over 1,000 have been confirmed dead and another 10,000 are currently stranded by the flood waters. The government has dispatched troops to retain order and help evacuate the affected areas. The worst part is that scientists believe this cataclysmic flooding is a sign of global warming and events like it will be more frequent as the climate changes. This is especially awful news for a developing country already working to improve its social and economic conditions.
In a historic speech at Georgetown University, President Obama outlined a comprehensive list of reforms his administration is instituting to combat climate change. He also had an answer for any skeptics who think the measures are unnecessary or the evidence insufficient: “[The country] doesn’t have time for a meeting of the Flat Earth Society.” These measures Obama introduced included everything from providing subsidies for renewable energy and pledging to significantly cut carbon emissions in the coming decade. While the pledge comes as a welcome policy change to environmentalists, many still cite flaws in the plan. Support of fracking and nuclear power remain issues that Obama supports, much to the chagrin of green activists. Shockingly most news outlets paid little attention to the president’s announcement- MSNBC (of all places) only dedicated 41 SECONDS of airtime to a 48 minute speech. At least the Weather Channel was willing to broadcast the whole thing…