This weekend was insane for extreme weather worldwide. As the planet has warmed, severe weather events are happening in every corner of the globe, alerting us to the need for strong, immediate action on climate change.
"No particular climate event can be identified as the consequence of a rise in global average temperatures driven by the release of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases from the burning of fossil fuels," according to climate scientists Erich Fischer and Reno Knutti at ETH Zurich—the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology. "But some events that were once improbable have now become statistically more probable because of global warming,"
Here are five extreme weather events that are rocking the planet:
1. "Biblical" Flooding in South Carolina
South Carolina flood: Door-to-door searches, swamped roads: http://t.co/cFIT7VIZAK #liveonFOX45 http://t.co/dayJIldyPw— FOX Baltimore (@FOX Baltimore)1444049100.0
"We haven't seen this level of rain in the low country in a thousand years," Gov. Nikki Haley told reporters Sunday afternoon. "That's how big this is."
A "1,000-year rainfall" means that the amount of rainfall in South Carolina has a 1-in-1,000 chance of happening in any given year, CNN meteorologist Taylor Ward explains.
“I’ll put it this way: For us, this is a biblical event,” said Brian Hinton, the deputy chief of the Charleston County Volunteer Rescue Squad. “This is a historical-type deal.”
A look at South Carolina's once-in-a-thousand-years flood – and more rain is coming: http://t.co/917ASp9Rmj http://t.co/Bj59yz9Epf— TheBlaze (@TheBlaze)1444015809.0
At least eight are confirmed dead, and hundreds had to be rescued. "An agonizingly powerful blend of a low-pressure system and some of the moisture from Hurricane Joaquin as it spun over the Atlantic Ocean toward Bermuda, was expected to last into the week, raising fears that conditions could worsen," reports The New York Times.
"The Charleston region appears to be among the worst-hit so far, though heavy rain is falling across much of the Southeast, from the northern Atlanta suburbs to North Carolina," says Slate. "More than a foot of rain has already fallen in Charleston since the downpour began on Thursday, and much more is on the way. By 8 a.m. Saturday, Charleston had already broken its daily rainfall record of 3.28 inches, set in 1994. By Saturday afternoon, it had doubled the previous record."
Meanwhile in Darlington County #SouthCarolina #Flood http://t.co/yIWhNTlRIp— Hey Youth Guys (@Hey Youth Guys)1443883243.0
2. "Apocalyptic" Scenes in the South of France
Violent storms and flooding on the French Riviera have killed at least 17 http://t.co/VacUnjwieI http://t.co/e7UEbFThzP— AFP news agency (@AFP news agency)1444035907.0
The southeastern U.S. wasn't the only place dealing with flooding. "Four people were still missing on Monday after flash floods on the French Riviera killed at least 17 people over the weekend, prompting the government to declare a natural disaster in the southeastern tourist region," reports Reuters.
Violent storms and torrential rain struck the area in what were described as "apocalyptic" scenes, says AFP. An estimated 5,000 homes were still without power this morning after as many as 70,000 suffered power outages on Sunday evening.
Up to seven inches of rain fell in just three hours overnight, "transforming the glitzy streets of Cannes, Nice and Antibes into debris-strewn rivers," AFP reports. "In Cannes —home of the glitzy film festival—the torrent carried some cars out to sea, city hall said."
More @CBCNews on flash floods on #FrenchRiviera kill 16 people: http://t.co/NvQWiUib7d http://t.co/GoN9V0AO3I— CBC News Alerts (@CBC News Alerts)1443957920.0
The storm is being referred to as a "medicane," a portmanteau of the words Mediterranean and hurricane. Due to the dry nature of the Mediterranean, these tropical-like cyclones are rare meteorological phenomena.
A severe #medicane lashes the French Riviera, with widespread #flooding and at least 4 dead http://t.co/ByRdRHECwu http://t.co/aUkiTsDHGE— The Age (@The Age)1443948003.0
3. China Typhoon Kills Six, Spawns "Several Strong Tornadoes"
#ClimateChange 7 dead, 223 injured as tornadoes brought by Typhoon Mujigae ravage China’s... http://t.co/efovaX6PqG http://t.co/5qwaxn0uE7— Healing Inspirations (@Healing Inspirations)1444047687.0
"A typhoon bringing heavy rain churned inland through southern China on Monday, a day after making landfall, killing at least six people, injuring hundreds, knocking out power and overturning cars," reports Reuters. "The storm made landfall in the southern province of Guangdong on Sunday, triggering widespread blackouts, state media said. Winds knocked out power grids along the coast, leaving large areas without electricity, water or telecommunications."
Four people have died and another 16 are missing, reports BBC. Though, AP has put the death toll at nine. Nearly 200,000 people were evacuated before the storm made landfall. The storm spawned "several strong tornadoes" and authorities warned flooding and mudslides were possible in the southwestern province of Yunnan.
Authorities On Red Alert As Typhoon Mujigae Lashes South China http://t.co/MfFHyqMkkI http://t.co/ZOkoL8S44P— Shanghai Update (@Shanghai Update)1444049425.0
Got stuck in a typhoon in South China... http://t.co/lclYJucNr9— Andrea M Alexander (@Andrea M Alexander)1444048944.0
4. Australia Deals With Record Heat
Summer like heat continued to roll in SE Australia on Sun/Mon. The heat will continue on Tues; bad news for crops. http://t.co/r913imaqU3— Jason Nicholls (@Jason Nicholls)1444046631.0
Australia is dealing with "summer like heat" and it's still spring Down Under. Records were broken across Australia as temperatures topped off at 100 degrees Fahrenheit in some parts of the country.
"Victoria and South Australia both set records for the hottest ever starts to October while in Sydney the temperature reached 37 degrees [99 degrees Fahrenheit] in the city and 38 degrees [100 degrees Fahrenheit] in the western suburbs, the highest temperature recorded in New South Wales on Monday," reports The Guardian.
Heat records in #Australia now 12 times more likely than cold ones, study finds http://t.co/O5dbR9gbCL #climatechange http://t.co/ZhKYmJAKpf— Ross Duckham (@Ross Duckham)1442827263.0
Several states set records, according to The Guardian:
In South Australia, Adelaide recorded a temperature of 35.6 degrees, matching its record for the hottest day in the first week of October which was set in 1938.
In Victoria, Melbourne recorded a temperature of 32.8 degrees after Saturday broke records for the hottest start to October at 31.3 degrees.
In Canberra it was the earliest date in October the city has been hotter than 30 degrees. It recorded 31.7 degrees.
Every state recorded bushfires in an early start to the fire season. Some states have already declared total fire bans as Victoria saw more than 70 fires burn over the weekend.
Not good news for Victorian crops as heat bears down @farmer_dj @HoskingBrett @JaalaPulford @janesweather7 #agchatoz http://t.co/rL9oVoM5pw— James Wagstaff (@James Wagstaff)1444010824.0
5. More Than 100 Dead and at Least 150 Still Missing in Guatemalan Landslide
Entire families wiped out in Guatemala landslide with hundreds still missing http://t.co/RM6zFKeVNS— The Independent (@The Independent)1444034646.0
Rescue teams have found more than 130 bodies, while 150 to as many as 300 people are still missing and feared dead in El Cambray, a town 10 miles outside of Guatemala City.
"Heavy rains sent earth and rock cascading over homes and trapping residents inside on Thursday night," reports Reuters. "No survivors have been found this weekend despite the efforts of around 1,800 rescue workers sifting through the rubble."
"The town is nestled in a deep valley, leaving little space between the hillside and the homes below to buffer the force of the earth and trees that fell down on them," explains CNN. "The rescuers and villagers formed long bucket lines of up to 100 people to pass away dirt and debris. Some carried out the bodies of neighbors and loved ones, including children."
'We can’t live here anymore': More than 130 killed in Guatemala landslide, hundreds missing http://t.co/qRJMivZ0OI http://t.co/KUIZUT4IdU— Raw Story (@Raw Story)1444012212.0
Guatemala landslide: Death toll climbs to 96 killed. http://t.co/Tj2bfjknj1 http://t.co/rfx7o2cKJb— SBS News (@SBS News)1443995106.0
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After sustained declines in the number of COVID-19 cases over recent months, restrictions are starting to ease across the United States. Numbers of new cases are falling or stable at low numbers in some states, but they are surging in many others. Overall, the U.S. is experiencing a sharp increase in the number of new cases a day, and by late June, had surpassed the peak rate of spread in early April.
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To Have a Second Wave, the First Wave Needs to End.<p>A wave of an infection describes a large rise and fall in the number of cases. There isn't a precise epidemiological definition of when a wave begins or ends.</p><p>But with talk of a <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jun/27/new-covid-19-clusters-across-world-spark-fear-of-second-wave" target="_blank">second wave in the news</a>, as an <a href="https://www.american.edu/cas/faculty/mhawkins.cfm" target="_blank">epidemiologist and public health researcher</a>, I think there are two necessary factors that must be met before we can colloquially declare a second wave.</p><p>First, the virus would have to be controlled and transmission brought down to a very low level. That would be the end of the first wave. Then, the virus would need to reappear and result in a large increase in cases and hospitalizations.</p><p>Many countries in <a href="https://doi.org/10.1038/s41562-020-0908-8" target="_blank">Europe and Asia have successfully ended the first wave</a>. <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jun/08/new-zealand-abandons-covid-19-restrictions-after-nation-declared-no-cases" target="_blank">New Zealand</a> and <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2020/06/08/how-iceland-beat-the-coronavirus" target="_blank">Iceland</a> have also made it through their first waves and are now essentially coronavirus-free, with very low levels of community transmission and only a handful of active cases currently.</p>
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