California’s Fires And Drought Are A Preview Of Future, When Simultaneous Disasters May Become Commonplace
Florida has also been hit with multiple natural disasters recently: extreme drought but also Hurricane Michael. And New York can expect to be hit by four climate crises at a time by 2100 if carbon emissions continue at their current pace, a new study finds. While wealthy nations will be burdened with the costs of such disasters, poorer nations will experience great loss of life from them, the authors say. Meanwhile, California's poor air quality is drawing attention to the lasting negative health toll it can take.
The New York Times:
‘Like A Terror Movie’: How Climate Change Will Cause More Simultaneous Disasters
Global warming is posing such wide-ranging risks to humanity, involving so many types of phenomena, that by the end of this century some parts of the world could face as many as six climate-related crises at the same time, researchers say. This chilling prospect is described in a paper published Monday in Nature Climate Change, a respected academic journal, that shows the effects of climate change across a broad spectrum of problems, including heat waves, wildfires, sea level rise, hurricanes, flooding, drought and shortages of clean water. (Schwartz, 11/19)
San Jose Mercury News:
California Fires: Why More Disasters Like Paradise Are Likely
Fire crews are still working to contain the deadly inferno that leveled the town of Paradise, virtually wiping it off the map. Thousands of people are homeless, living in tents, trailers and parking lots. Dozens are dead. Hundreds are still missing. And massive, choking plumes of smoke continue to blanket Northern California. Forecasters say rain might arrive by Thanksgiving to clear away the smoke and mercifully reduce fire danger. But the optimism is tempered by a grim reality. Scientists say as temperatures continue to warm, drying out brush, grasses and trees into explosively flammable fuel by late summer and autumn, catastrophic fires and the unhealthy smoke they spew hundreds of miles away will almost certainly become more frequent in California and across the West in the coming years. (Rogers, 11/19)
Study Says Smog Is Taking Years Off People’s Lives
People could add years to their lives in California and other smog-plagued parts of the world if authorities could reduce particulate pollution — soot from cars and industry — to levels recommended by the World Health Organization, a new study reported Monday. No other large U.S. city would benefit more than Fresno, which has soot concentrations at roughly twice the WHO guidelines. Fresno residents would live a year longer if the region could meet the health organization’s recommended levels of exposure, according to Monday’s study by the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago. (Leavenworth, 11/19)
The Washington Post:
How Many Years Do We Lose To The Air We Breathe?
The average person on Earth would live 2.6 years longer if their air contained none of the deadliest type of pollution, according to researchers at the University of Chicago’s Energy Policy Institute. Your number depends on where you live. (11/20)
Air Pollution Exposure During Pregnancy Linked To Autism Diagnosis
Two new studies suggest that rising autism rates might be connected at least in part to air pollution from traffic. They are not the first to show a link between exposure to pollutants during pregnancy and the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorders. But both studies look at large populations and find a link with relatively low levels of pollutants. In a study of 132,256 births in Vancouver, Canada, published Monday in JAMA Pediatrics, researchers detected an association between exposure to roadway pollution in utero and later diagnosis with autism. The study’s strengths were its large size and its method of diagnosing autism, which can be inconsistent. (Weintraub, 11/19)