New York Times
Hurricane Michael was a sly storm, one that seemed almost unexceptional at first. It followed its predicted path with seeming obedience, but then burst into sudden fury as it approached the Florida Panhandle, reaching wind speeds at the cusp of Category 5 strength and leaving mud and rubble in its wake.
It was, in other words, a hurricane: the product of multitudinous forces that blend heat, wind and moisture into a potent threat, with a whopping dose of chance thrown in. Influences on the formation, direction and strength of hurricanes can involve faraway events like dry air from Saharan dust storms, the heated waters of El Niño in the Pacific, the undulations of the jet stream.
Increasingly, climate change is part of the dangerous mix as well.
New York Times
INCHEON, South Korea — A landmark report from the United Nations’ scientific panel on climate change paints a far more dire picture of the immediate consequences of climate change than previously thought and says that avoiding the damage requires transforming the world economy at a speed and scale that has “no documented historic precedent.”
The report, issued on Monday by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a group of scientists convened by the United Nations to guide world leaders, describes a world of worsening food shortages and wildfires, and a mass die-off of coral reefs as soon as 2040 — a period well within the lifetime of much of the global population.
The report “is quite a shock, and quite concerning,” said Bill Hare, an author of previous I.P.C.C. reports and a physicist with Climate Analytics, a nonprofit organization. “We were not aware of this just a few years ago.” The report was the first to be commissioned by world leaders under the Paris agreement, the 2015 pact by nations to fight global warming.
The New York Times
The Earth has already warmed 1 degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) since the 19th century. Now, a major new United Nations report has looked at the consequences of jumping to 1.5 or 2 degrees Celsius.
Half a degree may not sound like much. But as the report details, even that much warming could expose tens of millions more people worldwide to life-threatening heat waves, water shortages and coastal flooding. Half a degree may mean the difference between a world with coral reefs and Arctic summer sea ice and a world without them.
PBS News Hour