Will Wildfires Like Canadas Become the New Normal?
Canadas devastating fires and toxic smoke might not recur every year, but the heat from climate change increases the risks of a wide range of disasters.
With so much toxic wildfire smoke moving across the Canadian border and upending life across the Eastern United States, it raises a troubling question: Will there be more of this in the years ahead, and if so, what can be done about it?
First, lets take a step back. Global average temperatures have increased because of the unchecked burning of coal, oil and gas for 150 years. That has created the conditions for more frequent and intense heat waves.
That extra heat in the atmosphere has created a greater likelihood of extreme, sometimes catastrophic, weather all over the world. While that doesnt mean the same extremes in the same places all the time, certain places are more susceptible to certain disasters, by virtue of geography. Australia could see more intense drought. Low-lying islands are projected to experience higher storm surges as sea levels rise.