‘Cascading’ Climate Disasters Can Destabilize Entire Societies

Climate change, which is driven by the human consumption of fossil fuels, is making extreme weather events such as hurricanes, heatwaves, floods, and droughts much more intense. Not only does this trend threaten people and ecosystems around the world, but a new study concludes that it could destabilize entire societies.

Extreme heat and drought, which frequently overlap in our warming world, can produce “cascading impacts” that “propagate through numerous sectors with far reaching consequences, potentially being able to destabilize entire socio-economic systems,” according to a study published on Wednesday in PLOS Climate…

“A relevant finding of our study is that the impact of compound heat and drought is not just the sum of their separate impact on different systems,” Laura Niggli said in an email. “It is well known how severely the impacts of extreme events can be e.g. for health (with high excess mortality related to extreme heat or bad air quality), food production (with large losses in the agriculture sector due to dry spells or extreme precipitation, and limited availability of fodder and water for animals), energy (related to limited cooling water for nuclear power plants, or limited water for hydropower generation) or mobility (e.g. waterway transport restrictions due to low flows in rivers, or buckling of rail tracks) etc.”

The material world interconnects in every conceivable dialectic. Sums increase. Actions increase. Futures are foretold in more than one way – every time.

One thought on “‘Cascading’ Climate Disasters Can Destabilize Entire Societies

  1. Cassandra says:

    “A disastrous megaflood is coming to California, experts say, and it could be the most expensive natural disaster in history” https://www.cnn.com/2022/08/12/weather/california-megaflood-study/index.html
    “Daniel Swain, a climate scientist with UCLA and a researcher involved in the study, describes a megaflood as, “a very severe flood event across a broad region that has the potential to bring catastrophic impacts to society in the areas affected.” He said a megaflood is similar to the 1,000-year flash flood events seen this summer in the St. Louis area and Kentucky, but across a much wider area, such as the entire state of California.
    These massive floods, which experts say would turn California’s lowlands into a “vast inland sea,” might have previously happened once in a lifetime in the state. But experts say climate change is increasing the likelihood of these catastrophic disasters, causing them to occur more like every 25 to 50 years.”
    American Association for the Advancement of Science: Science Advances (Vol. 8, No. 32 august 12, 2022) “Climate change is increasing the risk of a California megaflood” https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/sciadv.abq0995

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