Climate change, natural disasters March 2022-

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Sharm el-Sheikh Climate Change Conference – 6-18 November 2022

 the International Disaster Charter website
 NASA Applied Science Disasters website

How climate change drives inland floods
(NPR) Climate change means more flood risk across the United States. That includes places far from the ocean and sometimes far from rivers and streams, but where rain storms can still cause dangerous flash floods.
Why, exactly, does a hotter Earth mean more inland flood risk? And what does the future hold? This FAQ is for the millions of people who live in increasingly flood-prone parts of the United States, and who want to know how to stay safe and prepare for a changing climate.
How does climate change affect heavy rain?
It all starts with the release of greenhouse gasses like carbon dioxide and methane. As humans keep burning fossil fuels, the atmosphere gets hotter. That hot air holds more water vapor, and so when it rains, it rains harder.
Climate scientists have been predicting for decades that heavy rain would get more common as the Earth heats up. At this point, scientists can measure what’s happening in real time. The amount of rain falling in the heaviest rain storms increased across the country between 1958 and 2016, according to the National Climate Assessment. The situation is most serious in the eastern half of the country. A lot more rain is falling in the Northeast and Midwest, which means a lot more flood risk in all kinds of places, including areas far from the coast.

25 July
Living Through India’s Next-Level Heat Wave
In hospitals, in schools, and on the streets, high temperatures have transformed routines and made daylight dangerous.
By Dhruv Khullar
(The New Yorker) Dhruv Khullar writes, in a haunting dispatch from India, where an unprecedented heat wave has taken hold. … And, Khullar cautions, extreme heat isn’t just a phenomenon affecting “poor, faraway people”: just last week, temperatures in the U.K. reached a hundred and four for the first time; last summer, in the course of three weeks, more than fourteen hundred people died during a heat wave in the Pacific Northwest. Short of causing death, extreme heat can lead to fever, vomiting, and fainting, and, as Khullar, a practicing physician, writes, the effects of climate change are also psychological—heat has been linked to a rise in suicides among Indian farmers.

21 July
(Atlantic Council) It’s the new, broiling normal. Europe’s brutal heatwave this week—which notched the highest temperature ever recorded in the United Kingdom at 104 degrees Fahrenheit—has buckled airport runways and fueled scorching wildfires. It’s also racking up a death toll in the thousands. This is the reality of the changing climate—and it will only get worse from here. Even as they work to reduce carbon emissions, how can societies and individuals adapt to this extreme heat?
Under threat from extreme heat: What can cities do to adapt? | Arsht Rock Press Briefing (video)

19 July
The World Is Burning Once Again
We can only adapt so much to extreme heat.
Jacob Stern
(The Atlantic) Earlier this year, the U.K.’s Met Office had to update its definition of a heat wave because climate change had rendered the old definition obsolete: Heat waves would now be so common as to have lost their meaning.
It’s not just the U.K. Now everywhere is hot. More than 100 million Americans are currently under heat advisories or warnings. In India, a record-breaking heat wave has only recently given way to the monsoon. Parts of Central Asia are still seeing temperatures as high as 115 degrees Fahrenheit. And the damage done by overlapping disasters doesn’t merely accrete linearly; it compounds. Over time, climate change has made these concurrent extremes more and more common, Kai Kornhuber, a climate scientist at Columbia, told me. Since the late ’70s, concurrent major heat waves have grown six times more frequent in the Northern Hemisphere, Kornhuber and several colleagues found earlier this year. “What we’re seeing now is a situation where the overall warmth of the climate is higher, which puts us intrinsically closer to those extreme-heat thresholds,” Alex Ruane, a climate scientist at NASA, told me.

29 June
Many European schools and hospitals at risk from heat waves and floods: How to protect vulnerable groups from climate change?
(European Environment Agency/EEA) Climate change affects all Europeans but vulnerable groups, such as the elderly, children, low-income groups and people with health problems or disabilities, are the most affected. One in ten European schools and hospitals may also be at flood risk and about half of those facilities in cities are within intense urban heat islands. A European Environment Agency (EEA) briefing, published today, looks at these inequalities and how to address them through equitable climate change adaptation.
More and more vulnerable Europeans are increasingly exposed to dangerous heat waves, due to the combination of rising temperatures, urbanisation, and the ageing of the population, according to the EEA briefing. Flood-prone areas in some countries tend to have higher shares of the elderly or unemployed people who may not be able to relocate or pay for insurances or adequate flood protection for their homes. The EEA analysis also shows that nearly half of schools and hospitals in European cities are within intense urban heat islands, and every tenth European school or hospital may be exposed to flooding.
Towards ‘just resilience’: leaving no one behind when adapting to climate change
Despite efforts to adapt to climate change in Europe, the most vulnerable groups in society are still the most affected. Projected climate change, an ageing society and persisting socio-economic inequalities mean that differences in vulnerability and exposure to climate change are likely to continue. In addition, adaptation responses may worsen existing inequalities or even create new ones. This briefing looks at how climate change affects vulnerable groups and how these impacts can be prevented or reduced through equitable adaptation actions. It also presents examples of equity-oriented policies and measures from across Europe.

26 April
Humanity’s broken risk perception is reversing global progress in a ‘spiral of self-destruction’, finds new UN report
World could undo social and economic advances and face 1.5 disasters a day by 2030, according to UN’s flagship Global Assessment Report.
The Global Assessment Report (GAR2022), released by the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) ahead of the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction in May, reveals that between 350 and 500 medium- to large-scale disasters took place every year over the past two decades. The number of disaster events is projected to reach 560 a year – or 1.5 disasters a day – by 2030.
The report entitled “Our World at Risk: Transforming Governance for a Resilient Future,” found that the implementation of disaster risk reduction strategies, as called for in the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, had reduced both the number of people impacted and killed by disasters in the last decade.
However, the scale and intensity of disasters are increasing, with more people killed or affected by disasters in the last five years than in the previous five.
Global disasters are coming harder and faster. Here’s how we can cut the risks
Mami Mizutori
The UN’s annual report on mitigating calamities shows that a radical rethink is needed to protect those who suffer most
If the world seems beset by constant disasters, from the pandemic to drought, we only have ourselves to blame.
Over the past two decades, we have experienced up to 500 disasters a year as a result of human activity. By 2030, this could rise to 560 a year – or 10.7 a week.
Given the disproportionate impact these disasters have on the most vulnerable, the tragedy is that the world is actively reversing social and economic gains, particularly in developing countries, by underestimating the threat. With this broken risk perception, humanity itself is on a spiral of self-destruction – a key finding of the UN’s Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction 2022 (Gar 2022).

23 March
UN chief calls for extreme weather warning systems for everyone on Earth
António Guterres says entire planet should be covered by early warning systems within five years
About a third of people around the world are not now covered by early warning systems, but in Africa the problem is greater, with about six in 10 people lacking such warnings.
As climate breakdown takes hold, more people are likely to be affected by extreme weather, including flash floods, heatwaves, more violent storms and coastal storm surges, made worse by sea level rises.
António Guterres said it was unacceptable that so many people were still not covered by early warning systems, and pointed out that the IPCC had recently found half of humanity was “in the danger zone” for climate breakdown.
Guterres has asked the World Meteorological Organization to lead the effort to ensure everyone is covered by an early warning system. He has called for a plan on how to fulfil the target to be brought to the next UN climate summit, Cop27, to be held in Egypt in November.

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