One-fifth of Pakistan is now underwater, the headlines say. Thousands have died, and this is expected to go down as one of "the worst natural disasters in history."
But how "natural" is this disaster, really?
Just an hour ago the Associated Press posted the first news story to look at the flooding in Asia, the heat wave in Russia, and the massive ice calving in Greenland as a global whole.
How did they manage this almost unprecedented feat? As prompted by the World Meteorological Org, they simply looked at the last climate change report by the IPCC, and what it predicted.
The weather-related cataclysms of July and August fit patterns predicted
by climate scientists, the Geneva-based World Meteorological
Organization says — although those scientists always shy from tying
individual disasters directly to global warming.
The heaviest monsoon rains on record — 12 inches (300 millimeters) in
one 36-hour period — have sent rivers rampaging over huge swaths of
countryside. It's left 14 million Pakistanis homeless or otherwise
affected, and killed 1,500. The government calls it the worst natural
disaster in the nation's history.
A warmer atmosphere can hold — and discharge — more water. The 2007
IPCC report said rains have grown heavier for 40 years over north
Pakistan and predicted greater flooding this century in south Asia's
Cassandra, meet your pals the climatologists. Talk amongst yourselves…
[pic from western Pakistan, via a New Statesman blog]