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  • [MUSIC PLAYING]

  • Been a very active couple of months--

  • there's been probably four major hurricanes in that time.

  • There's been--

  • --very, very severe wildfire season in the West.

  • Literally driving through a fire at the moment.

  • Then on top of it, we've had a couple

  • of very strong earthquakes in Mexico.

  • Some of this is normal.

  • But some of it may also be a harbinger of things to come.

  • Science can explain all of these things.

  • [SCREAMING]

  • Earthquakes-- the frequency of earthquakes

  • is remarkably consistent year to year.

  • A 7.0, roughly, earthquake and then--

  • and also an 8.0 earthquake within two weeks of each other

  • is not unusual at all.

  • The fact that they both happened in Mexico is a little unusual.

  • But lots of quakes happen in Mexico.

  • Thing about earthquakes is that most

  • of the big earthquakes, actually, in the world

  • happen in places where there's not a lot of people.

  • So they don't really get noticed.

  • Earthquakes aside, it's tricky.

  • Some of what's been happening is related to climate change.

  • Some of it isn't.

  • So wildfires are an interesting question

  • because there's some element of normality and nature involved.

  • But there's a lot of human influence here.

  • It's been very dry, climate change-related.

  • And also, there's certain insect infestations

  • that are now worse because of climate change that

  • can kill trees.

  • And that's fuel for fires.

  • Couple that with human influences.

  • More and more people are living in areas

  • that are close to forest.

  • The human desire to live close to nature sort of plays

  • into the whole "what's going on here" feeling,

  • whereas 20 years ago, a wildfire might

  • have happened somewhere in the Rockies and nobody lived there.

  • So nobody would really care.

  • Now the same wildfire might happen in the same location.

  • And there's vacation homes there.

  • And so people take notice.

  • Terms of hurricanes, generally speaking,

  • the months of August, September, and October

  • are the busy, active part of the season.

  • Some years, you don't get many hurricanes at all.

  • It's a naturally variable situation.

  • It is probably a little unusual that several of them

  • have been really monster hurricanes,

  • and also have made landfall.

  • You want a big database of things to study.

  • And with hurricanes, with, like, 12 or 15 storms every year,

  • that's not a huge number that you're working with.

  • But some scientists say the intense season we've had

  • is more likely to repeat itself in years ahead.

  • Scientists are pretty confident that climate change

  • will make hurricanes worse for two reasons.

  • One is warmer air holds more moisture.

  • The other impact is that sea levels are rising.

  • Some point, particularly if you're personally

  • affected by these things--

  • the scientific explanation is not enough.

  • Whether you blame nature or some higher being,

  • to be in awe and a little scared or a lot scared

  • at what can happen to you in these events is a good thing.

  • It probably means you prepare for them better.

[MUSIC PLAYING]

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B1 US TheNewYorkTimes wildfire climate change climate unusual mexico

Are All These Natural Disasters Normal? | The New York Times

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    joey joey posted on 2021/04/18
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