|Horrific Wildfires In America's Western States|
In late November of 2012, a piece titled "Under-Reported Weather Events" appeared on this site pointing out that in our fast-moving world some stories concerning weird weather that should be noted were often overlooked and ignored. At the time it was becoming obvious that our busy world often overlooked or discounted what may be the "canary in the coal mine." A great number of hot and cold record-breaking temperatures have been shattered across the world over the last few years and some of the quirks in our weather patterns now hinge on the bizarre. Droughts and other harsh climate changes that negatively affect crop yields hold the potential to turn our lives upside-down.
|Venice, Italy Knee Deep In On Water|
At the time most of the world took little notice that in July 2012, when Beijing suffered its largest rainfall in 60 years. The storm caused widespread destruction and tragedy throughout China's capital, leaving 37 people dead. The rainstorm that created a record breaking 16 inches of rain and has caused $1.6 billion in flood damage. The storm started on Saturday afternoon and continued late into the night flooding everything in its path including major roads and underpasses while also crushing and collapsing homes. A repeat of flooding occurred in 2016, when heavy downpours caused havoc across usually dry areas. China at the time reported 576 people dead or missing in the first half of the year from such weather.
A picture of Venice, Italy where the tourist in the famous Saint Mark's Square found more than a little water drew little concern or interest in 2012. Heavy rain and a storm surge had left Venice severely flooded, it was the lagoon city's sixth worst flood on record. Residents and tourists were left to wade through the city on Sunday, with 70 percent of the city flooded, including pathways along Venice's fabled canals. By late afternoon the level had receded slightly to 4.6 feet above normal. The storm has also caused chaos across northern Italy, including Tuscany. Heavy rainfall and floods in Toscana caused hundreds of residents to flee their homes, in one area 9 inches of rainfall was recorded in just four hours.
Since then many events of flooding and drought have occurred across the globe to the same muted reaction. In desperation, some people plunged into the Aegean waters and tried to swim to safety recently as Gale-force winds topping 50 miles an hour have fanned a pair of wildfires near Athens. The fire that killed at least 75 people forced thousands of tourists and residents to flee in cars and buses, on foot, aboard boats and on makeshift rafts as it tore through a popular seaside area.
Still, events like these, flash floods, record setting heat, and drought continue to seem all too commonplace and are brushed out of our minds. Today even as this is being written little is even being made of the record shattering heat wave that currently grips much of Europe and has forced France to shutter four nuclear plants due to heat and a shortage of water in its rivers to cool reactors. The elevated river temperatures are even said to be responsible for massive number of fish die-offs in Germany last week.
Our ability to recover from storms and hurricanes like those that devastated both Houston and the Florida Keys last year should not allow us to forget their fury. The subject of climate change and how it might affect our very existence is not a new concern for me, for years I have preached quality over quantity and questioned the sustainability of the course mankind has chosen to pursue. If mankind is in any way responsible for climate change it will take years or even decades to make a difference after we alter our lifestyles. Sadly, efforts and pain to reset our course will not take place until the pain becomes unbearable and turning back the clock will prove harder than anyone can imagine.
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Footnote; To those interested the post below list what are considered the ten major threatening the planet.