Hurricanes, floods, droughts have been integrally associated with erratic weather cycles since times immemorial. Then, why is it that the current natural catastrophes make us raise a brow? Probably it is the incredible scale of irrevocable devastation and irremediable destruction that compels a reaction.
2017 has witnessed a series of nerve wracking climate disasters gripping the entire world. Ranging from dreadening hurricanes, flash floods, droughts to wild fires, these manifestations of global warming and climate change has strongly impacted humanity leaving billions homeless- at the brink of survival.
Let’s understand the causal effect of certain natural catastrophes which have been proven as a direct resultant of climate fluctuations.
Rise in the sea level is undoubtedly the consequence of fast melting glaciers affected due to global warming. This impacts a dangerous phenomenon termed as storm surge that causes flood conditions by pushing water ashore. In densely populated coastal zones besides the storm taking a toll on the inhabitants, the floodwaters disturb the equilibrium.
A 2013 survey has demonstrated with every 1.8 degree Fahrenheit shoot in the temperatures, compelled a storm surge to go up to seven times higher than that experienced during Hurricane Katrina. In fact during a hurricane, a rise in temperatures will definitely enhance the capacity of the atmosphere to hold more moisture thus causing heavy rainfall.
An intense quote by a meteorologist mentions water causes the deepest wounds during a Hurricane, whereas wind grabs all the attention!
The unpredictable fluctuations in temperature might just do away with those frequent lower intensity storm surges and accumulate enough pressure to be released by means of the category 3,4, 5 storms- a rare but tougher phenomenon.
Global warming and climate Change dries up soil moisture to the extent that it leaves vast expanse of vegetation dead and dried. In such situations rise in temperature and hotter weather conditions cause results into natural combustion giving rise to horrific wildfires.
Although, ignition source and tinder may vary, it is climate change that makes ecosystems vulnerable to wildfires. Long term drought stricken areas are more susceptive to wildfires considering the vast expanse dead trees.
In fact pine beetles have been held responsible long enough for being a substantial cause of wildfires. They infest forst covers causing trees to dry up within days thus making them more vulnerable to catch fire.
(In fact weather fluctuation is continually affecting the vegetation cover. Deciduous trees are replacing highly flammable pines and spruces by restricting their presence just in the elevated colder zones.)
Often we blame it on global warming to be the major cause of lower amount of rainfall resulting in drought. But, let’s get the facts right. Even if the rainfall levels remain consistent, higher temperatures cause evaporation to suck out water from the soil, lessening moisture levels. This means drop in the levels of ground water that directly impacts the availability for living organisms.
To top the already prevalent phenomenon, rising temperatures consolidate high pressure systems in the sub tropical belts. Stronger pressure does not allow hotter and moist air from escaping upwards which had the scope of getting condensed and precipitating. Owing to the pressure systems becoming larger and gaining strength, the cycle of precipitation get heavily affected, even to the extent of getting blocked.
Although, it is a rare occurrence to find a scientific study holding global warming in contempt for causing natural disasters like the ones mentioned above, the extremity of events, the complex rendition on the fore and the regular intervals of occurrence offers a clear idea of the root cause.
More and more experiments and analysis is offering objective overviews on the growing number of catastrophes and the resemblance in the causes evolving out of every study invariably points at global warming.