As Hurricane Earl is downgraded to a Tropical Storm, its winds are still mauling the resilient coast of Nova Scotia in south east Canada, and hatches are still battened down as hurricane Flora threatens to follow. However this is not the only part of the world that has suffered severe, bizarre and quite frankly chaotic weather conditions this year.
Severe droughts, killer floods, raging wildfires and uncontrollable mudslides have devastated communities around the globe. But can it all be blamed on global warming? Well experts say that they cannot prove that it is to blame but the finger of suspicion definitely points in that direction.
The global extremities have lead to specialists considering this fact as thousands have been left dead and millions homeless around the world.
In Pakistan at least 1,600 people have been killed and two million left homeless in floods on a scale never seen before, whilst in China crushing landslides have taken the lives of over 700 citizens.
At the same time but at the other end of the scale, temperatures in Russia have topped 100°F on more than one occasion, the highest recorded for 130 years, sparking devastating wildfires and forming a toxic smog that killed up to 700 people a day. Soaring temperatures have also devastated crops leaving the world facing a global grain shortage.
The lives of ten million people living south of the Sahara Desert in Africa have also been placed at risk as the region suffers from a severe drought.
Professor Andrew Watson, a climatologist at East Anglia University stated, “I’m sure the increased frequency of these kind of summers in the last few decades is linked to climate change.” He then added, “But you cannot say a single event or a single summer is unequivocally due to climate change – by definition it’s the weather and not climate.”
Jean-Pascal van Ypersele of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change announced, “One cannot conclude 100 per cent that nothing like this happened in the last 200 years, but the suspicion is there.”
Here in the UK we appear to have had things relatively easy on the weather front; however we did have the driest first six months since 1929 which inevitably led to hosepipe bans, empty reservoirs and a shortage of grazing for cattle, nothing really in comparison to the rest of the world.