Natural disasters of 2022, a short recap

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Grace Smith | December 29, 2022

Extreme weather and natural disasters have caused negative economic impacts and destruction around the world, costing billions of dollars in damage. The effect of climate change has been noticeable in 2022 through numerous natural disasters across the globe. 

The summer of 2022 was one of the hottest summers on record around the world and in the U.S. Houston, Texas experienced the hottest month of July on record with one day reaching over 103 degrees Fahrenheit. In addition, 100 million Americans were under a heat advisory or warning in July. 

In addition to the U.S., Europe also encountered extreme heat and wildfires during the hot summer months. In just one week in July, wildfires swept across Greece, Spain, and Portugal. From January to November 2022, 1.9 million acres burned through Europe. Between July 10-19, Spain recorded 1,047 deaths linked to the record-breaking heat. 

In June, thousand-year floods closed Yellowstone National Park after intense rainfall caused mudslides and flooding throughout the park. The landslides caused bridges to collapse and damaged roads. Conditions were so bad that the park had to close for the first time since 1988. 

This year’s monsoon season heavily impacted Pakistan with heavy downpours that impacted the infrastructure and strained emergency services. Flooding washed away roads and bridges, making it nearly impossible for emergency personnel to travel to help people. As of October, millions of Pakistan citizens were displaced, two million homes were displaced, and 1,500 people reportedly died. 

Many activists and lawmakers are thinking about these natural disasters and others and considering the repair costs that come with the new normal in the world because of climate change.

33 million affected by climate change-induced intensity of Pakistan monsoon season

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Grace Smith | September 2, 2022

Pakistan is experiencing its worst monsoon season in over a decade. Over 33 million citizens have been impacted and over 1,100 people have been killed by the strong winds and increased rainfall that has submerged one-third of the country underwater. 

Although scientists are still determining how climate change has specifically affected the monsoon season, it is clear that global warming is increasing the likelihood of severe rain in South Asia

From June through September, rain falls and winds normally blow from the southwest, but, with global warming increasing, the warmer atmosphere is holding more moisture, creating a large increase in rainfall. Rainfall in Pakistan this year is three times the nation’s average in the past 30 years.

The monsoon-induced disasters have worsened the risk of diseases and caused 20,000 people in dire need of food and medical support. 

The United Nations established a joint appeal with Pakistan for $160 million. “The Pakistani people are facing a monsoon on steroids — the relentless impact of epochal levels of rain and flooding,” U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres said during the appeal’s launch. “…Let’s stop sleepwalking towards the destruction of our planet by climate change.”