El Niño and global warming fuel extreme weather disasters

Recent events in Chile and California highlight the devastating effects of climate change and El Niño, combining to cause deadly wildfires and record-breaking floods.

In short:

  • Wildfires in Chile and floods in California are driven by a mix of climate change and El Niño, leading to severe weather phenomena.
  • Record high temperatures in the Pacific Ocean have exacerbated the conditions, leading to atmospheric river storms in California and intense heatwaves in Chile.
  • Disasters such as these demand improvements in infrastructure and heightened preparedness for extreme weather events.

Key quote:

“These synchronized fires and floods in Chile and California are certainly a reminder of the weather extremes and their impacts in otherwise benign Mediterranean climates.”

— John Abatzoglou, climate scientist at the University of California, Merced.

Why this matters:

These are stark warnings of the growing impact of climate change on weather extremes, affecting health, safety, and the environment. They emphasize the critical need for nations to adapt to and mitigate the effects of a warming planet, impacting both local communities and global climate patterns.

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