Floods Devastate Asia and Africa

The author of today’s post is Sheryl Canter, an Online Writer and Editorial Manager at Environmental Defense.

It’s been raining a lot in some parts of the world. In Northern India, Bangladesh, and Nepal, the worst rains in decades have devastated tea and rice crops, killed at least 3000 to 4000 people, and affected tens of millions of people since June. Great tracts of land are under water. Crop land has been destroyed; people are hungry. And the weather forecast says rain.

Extreme Climate Events, 2007
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Torrential rains also have caused severe flooding in Korea, Uganda, and Sudan. In North Korea, over 600 people are dead or missing, 170,000 people displaced, and almost 1 million people affected. In Sudan, 200,000 are homeless from floods. India, itself reeling, sent $250,000 in aid to flood-ravaged Uganda.

Is this all from global warming?

I asked James Wang, Ph.D., a climate scientist at Environmental Defense, and he said, "This is definitely consistent with global warming predictions. You can never be sure about a specific weather event, but when extreme events happen simultaneously in many parts of the world and long-standing records for rainfall are broken, odds are that global warming is an important factor."

The crises in Asia and Africa show that we can’t just "adapt" and take our time to find solutions, as Cool It author Bjorn Lomborg recommends. There’s already significant human suffering from global warming, especially in developing countries. Still, it’s not too late to act, and in fact, we must act. If we don’t, the consequences will only get worse.

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