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This Year’s Summer Of Climate Extremes Hits Wealthier Places

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FILE - In this Wednesday, June 30, 2021 file photo, a man stands under a water feature trying to beat the heat at a splash park in Calgary, Alberta. Scientists say there’s something different this year from the recent drumbeat of climate weirdness. This summer a lot of the places hit by weather disasters are not used to getting extremes and many of them are wealthier, which is different from the normal climate change victims. That includes unprecedented deadly flooding in Germany and Belgium, 116-degree heat records in Portland, Oregon and similar blistering temperatures in Canada, along with wildfires. Now Southern Europe is seeing scorching temperatures and out-of-control blazes too. And the summer of extremes is only getting started. Peak Atlantic hurricane and wildfire seasons in the United States are knocking at the door. (Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press via AP, FIle)

(AP)–Scientists say there’s something different this year as the world staggers through another summer of extreme weather. A lot of the regions that have experienced weather-related disasters this year are places that previously were spared global warming’s wrath.

The extreme events include unprecedented flooding in Germany and Belgium, and blistering temperatures in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. Now, southern Europe is seeing scorching temperatures and out-of-control blazes, too. And the peak Atlantic hurricane and wildfire seasons in the U.S. are knocking at the door.

The founder of a disaster database maintained at a Belgian University says, “It is not only a poor country problem, it’s now very obviously a rich county problem.”

 

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