Editorial Roundup: Extreme weather shows climate work needed

Published 8:50 pm Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Another spring with extreme weather shouldn’t be a surprise and isn’t simply a natural cycle we’re going through.

In our area, torrential rains and unstable weather are more common. Across the country the spring has been marked by waves of devastating flooding, tornadoes and high winds.

Around the world heatwaves have scorched the land, dried up drinking water supplies and in many cases killed people.

Email newsletter signup

The ice caps melt and oceans continue to rise, displacing people, which can cause starvation and wars.

While any individual string of extreme weather can’t be directly attributed to climate change, the science is abundant and growing that the relentless advance of climate change has brought more extreme weather.

The World Meteorological Organization’s annual report, “The State of the Global Climate,” again shows climate change is affecting everyone on earth.

A study published by scientists at NASA found that extreme weather events, droughts and flooding over the past decade have been more frequent around the world than in the prior decade. This is in no small part due to our warming climate.

The annual report from the American Meteorological Society said the risk of extreme events is growing.

The study noted that while a couple of degrees of average warmer temperature doesn’t sound like much, the impacts are sizable.

The Earth is already about 2 degrees Fahrenheit hotter than it was in the late 1800s, and scientists warn that humans must cut greenhouse gas emissions in half this decade to avoid catastrophic warming later this century.

The report says that heat waves, historically extremely rare, are increasingly likely.

A majority of Americans want Congress to be more aggressive on climate change. The longer we rely on burning fossil fuels, the more heat-trapping carbon we put in the air.

Increasing the pace of ending fossil fuel use isn’t easy as many powerful interest groups will fight it for economic self interest.

But the pressure must continue to be put on policymakers, in the U.S. and worldwide, to dramatically pick up the pace on fighting climate change.

— Mankato Free Press, May 16

About Editorial Roundup

Editorials from newspapers around the state of Minnesota.

email author More by Editorial