时间:2021-07-22 01:33:12


Massive1 flooding killed at least 195 people in northern Europe last week. Massive wildfires are burning across much of the western United States. These extreme weather events, scientists warn, are clear signs of global warming. And they say more is needed to be done to fight climate change.

Floods in Europe

In Europe, officials continue to find more bodies as floodwaters drop across affected2 areas of Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands. So far, 164 are confirmed dead and hundreds are missing in the affected areas of Germany. At least 31 people died in Belgium.

The rains that led to last week's floods were expected. However, politicians and weather forecasters were shocked by the amount of rain and the powerful, sudden floods that it caused. Warnings of danger came too late for many people living along Germany's rivers. Local officials described the weather event as "an explosion of the water" that destroyed buildings, electricity, and cell phone networks.

At one point, water went over the top of the Steinbach Reservoir dam in North Rhine-Westphalia state causing fear that the dam might break. It did not. The state governor said the dam was designed for a risk that might happen once every 10,000 years.

"This was exceeded in the last few days," he said.

Wim Thiery, a professor at Brussels University, spoke3 to the Associated Press Friday. He said of the flooding, "There is a clear link between extreme precipitation occurring and climate change."

Record heat, wildfires in North America

Across the Atlantic, a different kind of extreme weather is happening in Canada and the western United States.

For the second straight year, Death Valley in California has recorded temperatures as high as 54 degrees Celsius4. The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric5 Administration, or NOAA, reported that the U.S. Pacific Northwest and western Canada experienced record highs in late June.

The extremely high temperature is part of the change that has made North America warmer and drier in the past 30 years leading to more wildfires.

On Monday, the National Interagency Fire Center said wildfire activity continues in 13 American states where 80 large fires have burned more than 475,000 hectares of land. The Bootleg Fire, one of the largest in Oregon's history, has already burned more than 1,210 square kilometers. Firefighters said such wildfire conditions are more usual in late summer or autumn.

Stefan Rahmstorf teaches ocean physics at the University of Potsdam in Germany. He said the recent heat records set in the U.S. and Canada "are so extreme that they would be virtually impossible without global warming."

What caused these extreme events?

NOAA reports that in keeping with Earth's warming trend, the month of June this year is the fifth-warmest June in the 142-year global climate record.

Along with North America, June temperatures also reached record highs in Africa. Europe's June temperature was the second-highest on record and Asia's recorded temperature in June also came in as its second warmest tying with 2010.

Climate scientists say with every 1 degree Celsius rise in temperature, the air can take in 7 percent more humidity6. It can hold water longer, leading to a hot and dry condition in North America. But it also leads to an increase in huge rainfall in Europe.

What to do?

Diederik Samsom is a leading member of the European Commission7. He said, "A few years ago, you had to point to a point in the future or far away on the planet to talk about climate change. It's happening now — here."

Last week, the commission proposed a 10-year plan to cut by 55 percent the release of waste gases that cause global warming. Some member states oppose the plan.

In January, the U.S. rejoined the Paris Climate Agreement. The agreement restricts the release of gasses by developed nations.

Even if global warming gas releases are greatly reduced in the coming years, the amount of carbon dioxide already in the atmosphere means extreme weather is going to become more likely. And experts say we will need to be prepared for these extreme events.

"We need to make our built environment — buildings, outdoor spaces, cities — more resilient to climate change," said Lamia Messari-Becker, a professor of engineering at the University of Siegen.

Words in This Story

global - adj. involving the entire world

exceed - v. to go beyond the limit of something

precipitation - n. water that falls to the ground

occur - v. to happen

virtually - adv. very nearly

trend - n. a general direction of change

resilient - adj. able to return to original shape



1 massive QBRx2     
  • A massive sea search has failed to find any survivors.经过大规模的海上搜救仍未找到幸存者。
  • He drank a massive amount of alcohol.他喝了大量的烈酒。
2 affected TzUzg0     
  • She showed an affected interest in our subject.她假装对我们的课题感到兴趣。
  • His manners are affected.他的态度不自然。
3 spoke XryyC     
n.(车轮的)辐条;轮辐;破坏某人的计划;阻挠某人的行动 v.讲,谈(speak的过去式);说;演说;从某种观点来说
  • They sourced the spoke nuts from our company.他们的轮辐螺帽是从我们公司获得的。
  • The spokes of a wheel are the bars that connect the outer ring to the centre.辐条是轮子上连接外圈与中心的条棒。
4 Celsius AXRzl     
  • The temperature tonight will fall to seven degrees Celsius.今晚气温将下降到七摄氏度。
  • The maximum temperature in July may be 36 degrees Celsius.七月份最高温度可能达到36摄氏度。
5 atmospheric 6eayR     
  • Sea surface temperatures and atmospheric circulation are strongly coupled.海洋表面温度与大气环流是密切相关的。
  • Clouds return radiant energy to the surface primarily via the atmospheric window.云主要通过大气窗区向地表辐射能量。
6 humidity tcNxW     
  • The house is not comfortable tonight ,because of the high humidity.由于湿度高,今晚屋子里不舒服。
  • It's difficult to work because of the humidity.由于空气潮湿,工作很困难。
7 commission 1bkyS     
  • The salesman can get commission on everything he sells.这个售货员能得到所售每件货物的佣金。
  • The commission is made up of five people,including two women.委员会由五人组成,其中包括两名妇女。

本文本内容来源于互联网抓取和网友提交,仅供参考,部分栏目没有内容,如果您有更合适的内容,欢迎 点击提交 分享给大家。