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U.S. Midwest is freezing whereas Australia is burning.

An era of extreme weather changes

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This year we are facing extreme weather conditions all over the world. With some countries freezing as ice, there are some which are burning like fire.

Australia is breaking records and is facing heat at extreme conditions. South Australia’s State Emergency Service has announced that the current heat wave is a threat to public safety. The country’s bushfire is fuming and is breaking in Tasmania which is affecting people and animals.

Australian Energy Market Operator had cut power supply as there was a heavy load on electricity due to use of air-conditioners. This affected 60,000 people due to power supply disruptions. Trams got canceled in order to save power. The temperature in the south rose above 40 degrees.

On the contrary, Chicago faced one of the coldest days in the history. With polar winds coming straight from the Arctic, universities and schools of the city remain closed throughout the region. The Chicago Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS) has opened warming centers to help residents from the cold.

Officials are warning people about the risk of frostbite. Frostbite leads to skin getting cold, numb and then pale. Frostbite results in freezing of tissues.

Every year The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) issues a ‘Statement on the State of the Global Climate’ recording the global climate and weather changes at regional and global levels.

According to the Statement on the State of the Global Climate 2018 report, 2018 is the fourth warmest year recorded.

The report also suggests that the greenhouse gases are increasing in the atmosphere which is contributing to climate change. More than 90% of the energy by greenhouse gases goes into the ocean. This is resulting in sea level rise.

In addition to these, glaciers are also melting in Antartica and Greenland at a rate much higher than expected.

Petteri Taalas, Secretary General at WMO said, “Greenhouse gas concentrations are once again at record levels and if the current trend continues we may see temperature increases 3-5°C by the end of the century. If we exploit all known fossil fuel resources, the temperature rise will be considerably higher.”

Taalas also said that “It is worth repeating once again that we are the first generation to fully understand climate change and the last generation to be able to do something about it.”

Elena Manaenkova, Deputy Secretary General at WMO said, “Every fraction of a degree of warming makes a difference to human health and access to food and fresh water, to the extinction of animals and plants, to the survival of coral reefs and marine life.”

Manaenkova also stated, “It makes a difference to economic productivity, food security, and to the resilience of our infrastructure and cities. It makes a difference to the speed of glacier melt and water supplies, and the future of low-lying islands and coastal communities. Every extra bit matters.”

Australia has been facing droughts since last year. Rainfall for the month of December was below average in many parts of the country. The year was warm with increased moisture stress resulting in the impact of low rainfall.

Australia’s heat is taking a toll on people. While people at Chicago are bearing the winters. With people suffering from extreme heat and cold, there is an urgent need for controlling these changes and minimizing the damage.

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