Jul 12, 2023
Devastating floods from heavy rains struck three different parts of the world on Monday. These floods created temporary rivers that swamped towns and neighborhoods, killed people, and forced many to leave their homes. These floods in India, Japan, and the US Northeast will become more common. Scientists say this is due to climate change.
“It’s not surprising to see these events happening, it’s what models have been predicting ever since day one,” Brian Soden told The Associated Press. He is a University of Miami atmospheric sciences professor.
In New Delhi, a monsoon forced schools to close. The sudden floods and landslides killed at least 15 people. In Japan, heavy rain killed two people and left six others missing. New York and Vermont had some of the worst flooding in 12 years. Almost 10 inches of rain fell in less than a day.
These floods are like ones that happened in Turkey and China recently. Those floods also killed people.
Scientists say these storms are happening more often because the Earth is getting warmer. Warmer air retains more moisture. This leads to more storms dumping more rain with potentially deadlier consequences. Mathew Barlow is a professor who studies climate at UMass Lowell. He wrote in The Conversation that both wet and dry weather is becoming more extreme around the world.
Barlow added that the common factor “is that higher greenhouse gas emissions lead to bigger impacts.”
Photo from Reuters.
Reflect: Have you experienced any extreme weather in your area? What are some things you can do to prepare for extreme weather in your community?
Disastrous Decision Making
This resource has students act as mayor, social advisor, and science advisor in a town that is vulnerable to flooding.
Ecological Design Challenge: Spring Lake
In this activity, students will design a plan to build a vegetated embankment to stabilize the shoreline and reduce flood damage in Spring Lake, New Jersey.
Adaptation - Ice Stupas of Ladakh
This video examines the effects of climate change on the Himalayan people of Ladakh, specifically the issues of melting glaciers, which cause a chaotic mix of drought and flash floods.