Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

As Extreme Weather Turns Deadly in the UK, Climate Activists Are Forced to Cancel Meeting

Popular
As Extreme Weather Turns Deadly in the UK, Climate Activists Are Forced to Cancel Meeting
A flooded motorhome dealership is seen following Storm Dennis on Feb. 18 at Symonds Yat, Herefordshire, England. Storm Dennis is the second named storm to bring extreme weather in a week and follows in the aftermath of Storm Ciara. Although water is residing in many places flood warnings are still in place. Christopher Furlong / Getty Images

Britain has been battered by back-to-back major storms in consecutive weekends, which flooded streets, submerged rail lines, and canceled flights. The most recent storm, Dennis, forced a group of young climate activists to cancel their first ever national conference, as CBS News reported.


"There's a bleak irony in our being beaten back by climate change," 15-year-old Sophia Coningham from London said in a statement released by the UK Student Climate Network via Greenpeace UK, as CBS News reported. "We are now living in an age of climate storms - where the most extreme weather of the last century is becoming the norm in this one."

On Tuesday, CBS News reported that storm Dennis had turned deadly:

One woman is believed to have died in the flooding caused by Dennis, the second major storm to hit the United Kingdom in two weeks. Two men reportedly drowned in the ocean as high winds churned up huge waves over the weekend, and another man was killed after falling into a river in Wales, Britain's LBC radio news reported.

The UK Student Climate Network had scheduled Sunday's event to take place in Strattfordshire in the middle of England. However, police advised the group to cancel the event since travel to and from the event was unsafe, according to the Independent. The group said that heavy rain made the roads impassable.

"This kind of last-minute cancellation is particularly difficult for young people without the financial resources to travel across the country whenever we choose," Conningham said, as the Independent reported. "We are now living in an age of climate storms - where the most extreme weather of the last century is becoming the norm in this one."

"This is an emergency that's now being felt across the world - from Staffordshire to Sri Lanka," she added.

CBS News reported that the UK government's Environment Agency had issued a record 634 flood warnings on Sunday alone. More than 200 flood warnings remain in place across the UK, including nine severe - or "danger to life" – warnings, as the BBC reported.

Storm Dennis slammed areas that were still recovering from last week's storm, Ciara. Dennis hit with winds reaching 91 miles per hour. It doused England, Scotland and Wales with more than half a month's rain in just one afternoon, as The New York Times reported.

The government released emergency funds to help people recover from the storms.

"We'll never be able to protect every single household just because of the nature of climate change and the fact that these weather events are becoming more extreme," British Environment Secretary George Eustice said, as CBS News reported. He added that authorities had "done everything that we can do with a significant sum of money, and there's more to come."

Michael Byrne, a climate scientist at the at the University of St. Andrews in Edinburgh told the Independent that increased precipitation is a predictable byproduct of a warming world.

"When you warm the planet, the atmosphere holds more water. In many parts of the world, including the UK, rising temperatures go hand in hand with more rain," he said. "These storms are nothing new, going back 100 years, but, because we are now more than 1C warmer as a whole versus pre-industrial times, every degree means 7 percent more water in the atmosphere and more rain in these heavy rain events."

"When they come, they bring more rain, 100 per cent for certain, because of climate change," Byrnes added.

Byrnes' statement backs the findings of a study published in Nature last summer which found that hurricanes were dropping more rain. The scientists also predicted that future warming could increase rainfall totals for the most extreme hurricanes and tropical cyclones by up to 30 percent.

As for the climate activists whose meeting was canceled because of extreme weather, the storm just provided more evidence of the urgent need for action.

"The longer we wait to take the action we need, the harder it will be, and the bigger the risk of it being too late," Coningham said as CBS News reported.

With restaurants and supermarkets becoming less viable options during the pandemic, there has been a growth in demand and supply of local food. Baker County Tourism Travel Baker County / Flickr

By Robin Scher

Beyond the questions surrounding the availability, effectiveness and safety of a vaccine, the COVID-19 pandemic has led us to question where our food is coming from and whether we will have enough.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Tearing through the crowded streets of Philadelphia, an electric car and a gas-powered car sought to win a heated race. One that mimicked how cars are actually used. The cars had to stop at stoplights, wait for pedestrians to cross the street, and swerve in and out of the hundreds of horse-drawn buggies. That's right, horse-drawn buggies. Because this race took place in 1908. It wanted to settle once and for all which car was the superior urban vehicle. Although the gas-powered car was more powerful, the electric car was more versatile. As the cars passed over the finish line, the defeat was stunning. The 1908 Studebaker electric car won by 10 minutes. If in 1908, the electric car was clearly the better form of transportation, why don't we drive them now? Today, I'm going to answer that question by diving into the history of electric cars and what I discovered may surprise you.

Read More Show Less

Trending

A technician inspects a bitcoin mining operation at Bitfarms in Saint Hyacinthe, Quebec on March 19, 2018. LARS HAGBERG / AFP via Getty Images

As bitcoin's fortunes and prominence rise, so do concerns about its environmental impact.

Read More Show Less
OR-93 traveled hundreds of miles from Oregon to California. Austin Smith Jr. / Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs / California Department of Fish and Wildlife

An Oregon-born wolf named OR-93 has sparked conservation hopes with a historic journey into California.

Read More Show Less
A plume of exhaust extends from the Mitchell Power Station, a coal-fired power plant built along the Monongahela River, 20 miles southwest of Pittsburgh, on Sept. 24, 2013 in New Eagle, Pennsylvania. The plant, owned by FirstEnergy, was retired the following month. Jeff Swensen / Getty Images

By David Drake and Jeffrey York

The Research Brief is a short take about interesting academic work.

The Big Idea

People often point to plunging natural gas prices as the reason U.S. coal-fired power plants have been shutting down at a faster pace in recent years. However, new research shows two other forces had a much larger effect: federal regulation and a well-funded activist campaign that launched in 2011 with the goal of ending coal power.

Read More Show Less