Events of Extreme Weather | 21 Jul 2021

Why in News

People around the world have been doubly hit by the Covid-19 pandemic and extreme weather events which experts say have been fuelled by climate change.

Key Points

  • Recent Extreme Weather Events:
    • The unprecedented heat wave that drove temperatures across Canada and parts of the United States to a record high, causing hundreds of deaths between June 25 to 30.
    • The recent floods in Germany that killed over 180 people in the country.
      • Floods have also been reported across several Asian countries, in China, India and Indonesia.
    • Cyclones Tauktae and Yaas that hit India’s west and east coasts respectively.
  • Some Causes of Extreme Weather Events:
    • Extreme Temperature:
      • The temperature of the Earth is rising every year and increasing temperature and extreme sunshine on top of it creates a low-pressure system.
      • Due to which the hurricanes and other tropical storms get their way to start.
    • High Atmospheric Winds:
      • The jet stream is found where the cold air from Earth’s poles meets with warm tropical air.
      • These winds help to continue and control the weather system from west to east in the northern hemisphere and from east to west in the southern hemisphere.
      • Sometimes these winds bring unpleasant weather with them which may lead to the formation of a tornado.
    • When Pressure Systems Meet:
      • When too cold high-pressure systems meet with too warm low-pressure systems, the chances of extremely high waves on sea surface increases.
      • The too cold high-pressure systems originate from sub-polar land whereas too warm low-pressure systems originate from temperate seas.
    • Improper Weather Systems:
      • The weather systems (such as air masses, fronts, etc.) keep on moving in a proper way which helps to maintain the weather conditions in a smoother way.
      • When the weather conditions come across any disturbance in between, it creates disasters.
    • Climate Change:
      • The world temperature has increased quite high from the past few decades and even keeps on changing year after year.
      • One of the big reasons for the increase in Earth’s temperature is the level of CO2.
      • As the CO2 is increasing in the atmosphere, the temperature of the earth is also increasing simultaneously.
    • Global Warming:
      • As the world temperature is increasing due to global warming simultaneously the effects of it are also increasing.
      • Global warming is contributing to intensifying heatwaves.
      • Global warming also boosts the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere which may lead to causes of severe weather like heavy rainfall, heavy snowstorm, etc.
  • Concerns:
    • The rise in average global temperature is linked with widespread changes in weather patterns.
      • The rising average global temperature is making heavy rainfall more likely.
      • Warmer air carries more moisture, meaning that more water will be released eventually.
    • Extreme weather events like heat waves and extreme rainfall are likely to become more frequent or more intense with rising anthropogenic climate change.
      • The Theory of Anthropogenic Climate Change is that humans are causing most of the current changes to climate by burning fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and natural gas.
    • Temperatures at the Earth’s poles are rising at two to three times the temperature at the equator.
      • This weakens the jet stream of the mid-latitudes, situated over Europe.
      • During summer and autumn, the weakening of the jet stream has a causal effect resulting in slower-moving storms.
      • This can result in more severe and longer-lasting storms with increased intensity.
    • Also, according to a study, human-induced global warming has contributed to the increased frequency and intensity of cyclonic storms over the Arabian Sea.
  • Related Initiatives:

Source: IE