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Wednesday, September 22, 2021

USA. Climate change. Experts: cities are not prepared for them

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Hurricane Ida and tropical storm Henri, which hit the US one week apart in late August, broke rainfall records. There were many streets and houses under the water. Climate scientists blame climate change for these extreme events and warn that American cities are not ready for it. “Infrastructure is not even prepared for our current climate, let alone the climate of tomorrow,” said climate scientist Kim Cobb, director of the Global Change Program at Georgia Institute of Technology.

Climatologists have warned over the years that the more humans cause the planet to warm, these kinds of extreme rainfall events will occur with increasing frequency and intensity. And in many parts of the country, the infrastructure that exists today has been built for a climate that no longer exists, CNN TV noted on Sunday. She pointed to the deadly heatwaves that contributed to the devastating fires in the Pacific Northwest. She considered the damage done by Ida to territory from Louisiana to New York the latest in a series of catastrophic events.

Flood in New York

Ida hit Louisiana on August 29 as a category 4 hurricane, and in the following days its remnants reached the northeastern part of the United States. As CNN added, when it dumped about 200 liters of water per square meter on parts of New York City, authorities and meteorologists appeared to be stunned by this devastating flood. – This is the strongest warning we can meet. We must now see the suddenness with which the storms appear and their effects, said the Mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio.

New York was also hit by the Henri tropical storm that went ashore on August 23. It set an hourly record of rainfall of 449 l / sq m. for Central Park, as well as a daily record of 113 l / sq m. in College Park, Maryland

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Climate disaster. Climate scientist: American cities are not ready for it

Climate scientist Kim Cobb, director of the Global Change Program at Georgia Institute of Technology, quoted by ABC, warned that New York, like many other cities, is clearly unprepared to deal with climate and weather disasters like Ida. – In the southeastern United States – Louisiana and Mississippi – the infrastructure is not even prepared for our current climate, let alone the climate of tomorrow. Such climatic effects will worsen with each successive increase in warming, he predicted.

According to a recent UN climate report, “the frequency and intensity of heavy rainfall has increased in most land areas since the 1950s.” Analyzes of US government institutions indicate that it is very visible in the USA, especially in the north-eastern region.

“ People are focusing on hurricanes, but the truth is that the extreme rainfall that can occur in the wake of a hurricane, like Harvey (in 2017) and Ida, are events we need to be prepared for, ” CNN told CNN Laura Clemons, flood specialist.

Flooded roads due to Hurricane IdaCable News Network Inc. All rights reserved 2021

Floods in the USA. An expert on the “insidious problem of climate change”

Philip Orton, professor of ocean engineering at the Stevens Institute of Technology, highlighted the need to strengthen investment in sewage systems, such as pipes capable of carrying larger amounts of water, at CNN. However, he admitted that in a city like New York, replacing aging systems would be an extremely complicated and costly undertaking.

He estimated that with the uncertainty of what the downpours will look like in 5, 10 or even 50 years from now, designing systems that will be able to cope with the storms of the future is difficult.

“The insidious problem of climate change is that it creates a more unpredictable world where scientists have trouble figuring out exactly how much more rainfall is to be expected in cities,” Orton said.

Following the devastation caused by the remains of Ida, President Joe Biden approved federal funding as part of the announcement of disaster declarations for New Jersey and New York, where Governor Kathy Hochul estimated the loss at $ 50 million.

The effects of climate changeAdam Ziemienowicz / PAP

Main photo source: [Cable News Network Inc. All rights reserved 2021]

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