Riksha drivers walking through the flooded streets in Bangladesh in 2020.
State of the Planet collected expert comments to learn more about what conditions may be behind these recent tragic disasters, how climate change is contributing to heavier downpours, and how societies can adapt in an increasingly inundated world.
The Environment Agency has begun introducing planning assumptions for a global rise of up to 4°C due to climate change, with a shift to resilience rather than an onus on protection of properties in the future.
Climate change is putting an enormous strain on global water resources, and according to researchers, the Tibetan Plateau is suffering from a water imbalance so extreme that it could lead to an increase in international conflicts.
Decades of research show us climate change and the impact it has on fire-prone landscapes will only escalate in the years to come. We are living in a new era of wildfires, and so we must think about how to co-exist with fire.
River flowing through green fields and hills.
Protecting people from floods requires many technical professionals to make good predictions and decisions. No step in this process is easy – and most are getting harder. Climate change is worsening floods, because a hotter atmosphere can hold more water.
SAR is the right sort of tool for tracking floods, says Umbra’s chief operating officer, Todd Master, not just because clouds and darkness have no bearing but because you also “get these very distinctive turns between water and not-water”.
Person carrying jerrycans, in Papua New Guinea
Based not on impacts but on risks, anticipatory action requires forecasting, pre-agreed actions, and pre-agreed financing. The anticipatory approach could be scaled to cover all the SIDS.
Activists have long warned of “day zero” — the moment when the taps in this South African coastal city will run dry. Years of severe drought and municipal mismanagement have edged Gqeberha closer and closer to that reality. Now, day zero is nearly here.
People cooling off in a fountain in Chicago
A heat dome occurs when a persistent region of high pressure traps heat over an area. The heat dome can stretch over several states and linger for days to weeks, leaving the people, crops and animals below to suffer through stagnant, hot air.
Rikscha drivers cycling through flood water in India.
Scientists say climate change is a factor behind the erratic and early rains that triggered unprecedented floods in Bangladesh and northeastern India, killing dozens and making lives miserable for millions of others.