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The new normal: Climate change is making storms like Idai more severe

In this photo taken on Friday, March 15, 2019 and provided by the International Red Cross, an aerial view of the destruction of homes after Tropical Cyclone Idai, in Beira, Mozambique. Mozambique's President Filipe Nyusi says that more than 1,000 may have by killed by Cyclone Idai, which many say is the worst in more than 20 years. Speaking to state Radio Mozambique, Nyusi said Monday, March 18 that although the official death count is currently 84, he believes the toll will be more than 1,000. (Denis Onyodi/IFRC via AP)

Most of us in the Northern Hemisphere (in scientific terms, we call this the “top half” of the Earth) are gearing up for spring. Rainy weather, yes, but eventually the flora in god’s chosen country will come to life (and more importantly, I can put my tomato plants in the ground so they stop occupying space in our guest bedroom).

But as we saw last year with hurricanes Michael and Florence, climate change looks like it’s already making storms more severe than ever before. And in the southern hemisphere, Africa is reeling from the impact of Cyclone Idai.

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Writing for The Guardian, Matthew Taylor reports:

Cyclone Idai, the tropical storm that ravaged Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe, has been described as the worst weather-related disasterto hit the southern hemisphere, and the UN says more than 2 million people have been affected. Storm-surge floods of up to six metres have caused widespread devastation.

Experts said it was too early to draw specific conclusions from Cyclone Idai, but the rapidly changing climate meant the destructive power of such storms was only going to increase in the future.

The footage of the devastation is incredible.

Hundreds of people are expected to be dead, and the effects of the storm are still being felt by those in the region.

Dr Rebecca Emerton, of the National Centre for Atmospheric Science at the University of Reading, said her team was working with experts in the area hit by Cyclone Idai to try to improve forecasting and warning systems.

“It has been an active cyclone season in the Indian Ocean this year with seven intense cyclones already, compared to an average usually of three.” She said Idai was the biggest storm in the area since 2000.

If possible, I encourage anyone who can to donate just $2 to help the recovery effort. While there are many great organizations out there who are offering their aid, I encourage you to donate to Doctors Without Borders. They do incredible work, and consistently respond to disasters like this.

The same cannot be said for Homeopaths Without Borders.

h/t CNN

Written by Dan Broadbent

Science Enthusiast. Atheist. Lover of cats.

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