Climate change crisis closer than we think9 min read 06 Mar 2019, 06:18 AM IST
Looking at a string of recent natural disasters, climate change is here. And unless we choose to halt it, it will never stop
It is almost hard to believe just how much has happened and how quickly. In the late summer of 2017, three major hurricanes arose in the Atlantic Ocean at once, proceeding at first along the same route as though they were battalions of an army on the march. Hurricane Harvey, when it struck Houston in Texas, delivered such epic rainfall it was described in some areas as a “500,000- year event"—meaning that we should expect that amount of rain to hit that area once every five hundred millennia. Sophisticated consumers of environmental news have already learned how meaningless climate change has rendered such terms, which were meant to describe storms that had a 1-in-500,000 chance of striking in any given year. But the figures do help in this way: to remind us just how far global warming has already taken us from any natural-disaster benchmark our grandparents would have recognized.