Colorado is having the worst wildfire season in the state’s history, and a freak wind storm on the East Coast last weekend killed over 20 people and left millions without power. Meanwhile, the Midwest is experiencing its worst drought in over a decade, and 1,924 daily high temperature records were set just last week.
Though no specific weather event can be attributed to global warming, scientists have increasingly warned that heat waves, droughts, sudden downpours, wildfires and other weather extremes would become more intense and more frequent because of climate change.
“This is what global warming looks like at the regional or personal level,” said Jonathan Overpeck, professor of geosciences and atmospheric sciences at the University of Arizona. “The extra heat increases the odds of worse heat waves, droughts, storms and wildfire. This is certainly what I and many other climate scientists have been warning about.”
“What we’re seeing really is a window into what global warming really looks like,” said Princeton University geosciences and international affairs professor Michael Oppenheimer. “It looks like this kind of environmental disasters.”