In 2016, Leo DiCaprio narrated: ‘Before The Flood is the product of an incredible three-year journey. We went to every corner of the globe to document the devastating impacts of climate change and questioned humanity’s ability to reverse what may be the most catastrophic problem mankind has ever faced. All that we witnessed on this journey shows us that our world’s climate is incredibly interconnected and that it is at urgent breaking point.’
In the first two weeks of September 2017, the world witnessed the start of this breaking point. Hurricane Harvey drowned neighbourhoods and motorways became rivers in Houston. One of the heaviest monsoons recorded in the past 30 years has swamped large parts of India and south-east Asia, affecting millions. Nepal, Bangladesh, Cambodia and Pakistan have all been hit and major cities such as Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Karachi and Dhaka have been paralysed as roads turn to rivers and waters flood villages.
The scale of the flood disasters in the US and south Asia has shocked governments worldwide and left aid agencies struggling. Around 1,200 people are known to have died so far in Asia, more than 40 million people have been affected and millions of hectares of crops have been destroyed.
Michael E Mann, professor of atmospheric science at Pennsylvania State University, says: “We cannot say climate change ‘caused’ Hurricane Harvey but we can say that it exacerbated several characteristics of the storm in a way that greatly increased the risk of damage and loss of life. Climate change worsened the impact of Hurricane Harvey.”
It is both a natural and manmade disaster …By: Alexa Poortier, September 13, 2017 at 4:52 pm
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