Extreme Weather is here to Stay


One of the consequences of climate change according to the scientists is extreme weather. If we have it more often will it still be extreme?

The summer of 2021 was extreme by many standards. One of them was clearly extreme weather. For example, in Canada the record hottest temperature was experienced in British Columbia of all places. And the record was broken by 5ºC.  B.C. had a day where the high temperature reached 46.9 which was 5ºC above the previous Canadian high. Climate models did not even consider such a high temperature. It was literally off the charts for B.C. Scientists have said that such extreme temperatures would be “virtually  impossible” It was caused by what the scientists have called a  “heat dome.”

Europe experienced the year of the deluge. As a result, western Germany and Belgium experienced floods caused by a near stationary low pressure system. As a result 160 people as a result of flooding. In the town of Bad Neuenahr one of the worst hit areas, 98 of the those people died including 12 that died in a home for the disabled. In addition thousands  were rendered homeless as a result of the devastation. The river Erft poured into a gravel quarry triggering a landslide that collapsed houses nearby. The quarry had been expanded in 2015 and in order to get the permit  the owner was required to build a 1.2 km protective wall to prevent the pit from filling with water in he event of a flood. Unfortunately the wall was ineffective to hold off the deluge when the water overflowed higher up the river gushing through a local town. As the Guardian reported, “But the kind of extreme weather events the world is seeing with increasing frequency come with unpredictable consequences.”

In fact, you expand that thought. Climate change is coming with unpredictable consequences. We are conducting a global experiment with our civilization and do not know what the consequences will be. We just know they will be extreme. Extreme weather events bring extreme consequences. We are doing what people have never done before.

The rainfall in nearby Cologne reached 155 mm which was an astonish 60 mm above the previous record.

Records are being broken everywhere. Many of these records are ones we don’t want to break. As the Guardian reported,

“First, more records are being broken more often;  the world’s seven hottest years in recorded history have all come since 2014. Second, scientists can use statistical analysis and computer models to calculate how much more likely particular weather events become as a result of the extra stress people have put on the climate system.  For example, human emissions made the deadly “heat dome” in North America last month at least 150 times more likely and the prolonged heatwave in Siberia last year more than 600 times more probable.”


While I am concentrating on what has already happened—the apocalypse now—such numbers are disturbing. The weather event on the west coast killed an estimated 1 billion marine creatures. The recent spike at Lytton increased the Canadian record for highest temperature in Canada by 5 degrees. Now such events are more than 150 times more likely.  A killing heat wave in Siberia, of all places, is now 600 times more likely.

This has made many people there wonder what the actual costs of climate change will turn out to be. No one knows of course, but the costs will be massive. As the Guardian said, “There is no scientific consensus, but experts are increasingly concerned the world could be in for a bumpier ride than previously thought.”

Once more of these extreme weather events have already happened, there will be more. We will pay more.  Soon extreme weather won’t be extreme anymore.   I don’t know about you, but I don’t like bump rides and don’t need them any bumpier.


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