I am saddened by the damage and loss of life but am truly surprised you are so shocked by the extent and severity.
Haven’t you noticed hurricanes, cyclones and other storms have become more powerful in recent years? And that extreme weather events like record flooding, droughts and heat waves are happening more frequently? In 2012 extreme weather records were broken all over the US. In 2011 there were 14 separate billion-dollar-plus weather disasters in the US including flooding, hurricanes and tornados.
Extreme weather is fast becoming the new normal. Canada and much of the United States experienced summer temperatures during winter this year, confirming the findings of a new report on extreme weather.
For two weeks this March most of North America baked under extraordinarily warm temperatures that melted all the snow and ice and broke 150-year-old temperature records by large margins.
Last year the U.S. endured 14 separate billion-dollar-plus weather disasters including flooding, hurricanes and tornados.
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), released Mar. 28, provides solid evidence that record-breaking weather events are increasing in number and becoming more extreme. And if current rates of greenhouse gas emissions are maintained, these events will reach dangerous new levels over the coming century.
Since 1950 there have been many more heat waves and record warm temperatures than in previous decades.
The hottest day that occurs once in 20 years is likely to become a one-in-two year event by the end of the century, except in the high latitudes of the Northern hemisphere, where it is likely to happen once every five years.
The average tropical cyclone maximum wind speed is likely to increase, but the global frequency of tropical cyclones is likely to decrease or remain unchanged.