2021's weather disasters brought home the reality of climate change
Heat waves. Floods. Megadroughts. This year’s weather showed us that climate change is here—and deadly.
From punishing heat in North America to record-breaking floods in Europe and Asia, this year’s weather showed us what it looks like to live in a world that has warmed by 2 degrees Fahrenheit (1.1 degrees Celsius) over the past century.
“Dangerous climate change is already here. That’s a harsh reality we need to recognize,” says Michael Wehner, an extreme weather researcher at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
Extreme weather is already taking homes, businesses, and lives. Canada’s recent floods may be the most expensive in the country’s history, potentially costing an estimated $7.5 billion. The 18 weather disasters that hit the United States in 2021 together cost more than $100 billion, according to the most