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Planet Earth: Our Loving Home

Extreme Weather Events: Urgent Call for Prevention, Part 2 of 3

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Apart from heatwaves and wildfires, climate change has also triggered many other extreme-weather events, including intense storms, floods, and blizzards. For example, a series of recent winter storms in the United Kingdom and other parts of Europe led to severe downpours, floods, high tides, and other extreme weather events. The first storm, Atiyah, swept across the Republic of Ireland on December 8, 2019, with wind speeds of up to 80 mph (130 km/h). Rough seas along the west coast of Ireland were also produced by the storm. After Atiyah, Storm Brendan battered the UK on January 14, 2020, bringing rain and wind gusts of more than 80 mph (129 km/h). The highest wind gusts recorded in the Republic of Ireland reached a speed of 83 mph (134 km/h) at Roches Point on the County Cork coast and 63 mph (101 km/h) at Magilligan. In February 2020, about a month after the impact of storm Brendan, Storm Ciara, called “Britain's “storm of the century,” brought more chaos as raging winds of up to a 100 mph (161 km/h) swept across the UK and northern Europe, causing widespread flooding and travel disruptions. Another storm named Gloria arrived in Spain and France. On January 20, 2020, this Mediterranean Storm unleashed its fury across Spain with high winds, heavy rainfall, and snow. The hardest-hit areas were Murcia, Valencia, Barcelona, and the Balearic Islands. It was reported that on January 18, 2020, Canada’s province of Newfoundland and Labrador was barraged by a massive winter blizzard. As a result of the storm, 21,000 homes were left without power and a state of emergency was declared in the province, banning all road travel except for disaster-related or other urgent needs. On social media, the storm was dubbed “snowmageddon,” as snowdrifts partially buried homes. The Canadian Armed Forces were dispatched to Newfoundland and Labrador to help with recovery from the historic blizzard. All of these incidents occurred due to the severe effects of climate change on our planet’s weather system. Urgent action to end climate change is desperately needed. A scientific study by Drs. Joseph Poore and Thomas Nemecek, published in the journal Science, reports that a vegan diet is the “single biggest measure that can be taken to reduce environmental pollution.”
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