A Scan of Critical World Developments
The Age of Extremes
As record flooding from hurricanes and monsoons in the US and South Asia made headlines, the opposite climate phenomenon—extreme drought—was unfolding in parallel elsewhere. A historic drought in the Western United States kindled the most expensive wildfire season in US history (a staggering $2 billion in fire suppression costs alone), with hundreds of homes incinerated and parks and roads closed. Across the Atlantic, one of the worst droughts in decades has been ravaging agriculture in Italy, Spain, and Portugal. Over in Kenya, drought is leaving more than 300,000 children hungry. As scientists have long understood, climate change acts as an amplifier, increasing the incidence and severity of extreme weather events. To overcome the timidity, myopia, and denial that got us here, the new Age of Extremes demands amplified climate action.