Summer Climate Catastrophes Come in Face of Increased Action

Zahra Khan, World/Business Editor

Back in 2012, news articles released warnings of climate change. One article in particular, published from the Guardian, titled “Climate change is taking place before our eyes” reported the melting of the ice in the Arctic. Additionally, the devastating Hurricane Sandy occurred which led to “hundreds dead and thousands without power or shelter.” While scientists were shocked by this development, the Guardian highlighted an alarming reality- people had become so immune to these extremities. In fact, it was considered to be the new normal. 

If we take on the world ten years later, we see no improvement. According to the Global Climate Report for March 2022, the global surface temperature “was the fifth highest for March in the 143-year record at 0.95 degrees Celsius (1.71 degrees Fahrenheit) above resident Joe Biden has declared COVID-19 to be over, even after the deaths stemming from COVID-19 are still prevalent and rising the 20th-century average.” When people see instances of climate change, it is easy to assume most of these instances are examples of natural disasters. However, it is crucial for us to start taking accountability for our actions, and realize that human-induced climate change may drown out natural events as well. 

Taking a look at the current examples of climate change, the heat waves in Europe over the summer were high. The recent heat waves caused further travestys including “wildfires, droughts, and death,” according to the world economic forum. As of July 18, France had reported temperatures as high as 107.6 degrees Fahrenheit, meanwhile the United Kingdom reported its hottest day on record of reaching 104.5 degrees Fahrenheit. According to the World Economic Forum, “an estimated 1,977 wildfires have blazed across the region in 2022 – almost 3x the average amount.”

Another devastating example of climate change are the floods in Pakistan. Hassan Aamir ‘25 from Islamabad spoke with the Concordy about the relationship between climate change and the floods in Pakistan. When asked about how the floods are an example of climate change, Aamir responds “the recent heating of the planet’s surface is a contributor to climate change. Additionally, global warming also played a major factor in the increased amount of rainfall.” Hassan’s answer is supported by many articles, including a report from a paper published by Grist. According to the Grist, the “wetter-than-usual monsoon season was amped up by hotter-than-usual weather.” 

While recognizing the impact of climate change is a good first step, a plan of action to protect the globe from future disasters like this should be placed as top priority. When asked how other governments across the globe can help with the flooding situation in Pakistan, as well as climate change in general, Hassan responded “I think one of the things countries can help is by simply taking accountability. Countries should actually contribute to cutting down global emissions and putting forward more budget to climate change and helping Pakistan get out of this crisis.”