Welcome to the Climate-Covid Convergence

Hurricane Ida, wildfire evacuations, and Orlando’s oxygen shortage all show that we need policy solutions to address multiple crises at once.

Photo: National Guard

Exactly 16 years after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, Hurricane Ida struck Louisiana on Sunday, flooding towns and knocking out power for entire parishes. The New Orleans levee system erected in the wake of Katrina’s catastrophic failures held. But there were two notable differences between the storms. First was Ida’s rapid intensification as she sped over climate change–warmed Gulf waters. And second, she struck a region already pushed to its limits by Covid-19. In this sense, Hurricane Ida may have been the first storm of the new normal: an era in which overlapping crises make natural disasters much, much harder to fight.

Thanks most likely to global warming, Louisiana officials had very little time to prepare. In just six hours on Saturday night, due to unusually warm waters in the Gulf of Mexico, the hurricane’s speed accelerated from 85 to 150 miles an hour, morphing into meteorologists’ worst-case scenario. Even in a time of extreme storms, that’s mind-boggling. In contrast, Hurricane Katrina passed over cooler waters and slowed her speed. Read more at The New Republic.

Categories: Freelance Articles

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