Due to impacts of climate change, the year 2022 has experienced devastating weather events in the form of a terrible flood that drowned a third of Pakistan, one of the three costliest hurricanes to ever hit the United States, severe droughts in Europe and China, a famine in Africa brought on by a drought, and fatal heat waves around the world. The year is ending and the world once again witnessed an extreme weather i.e. deadly winter storm in North America which took lives of dozens of people. Forecasters referred to the icy winter storm that hit the United States as a “bomb cyclone” and it produced travel chaos, life-threatening flooding, flash freezing, and blizzard conditions in many parts of the country. Thousands of homes and businesses across the United States lost power due to the increased demand as a result of “bomb cyclone” storm, which is being considered as one of the most violent in recent decades. It has caused fatal car accidents on frozen roads and exposure to extreme storm, thousands of US flights were also cancelled, according to the data. In “one of the greatest extents of winter weather warnings and advisories ever” the National Weather Service (NWS) reported that more than 200 million people were under some type of winter alert.
It is anticipated that the prolonged extreme cold, blizzards and catastrophic winter storm conditions that have affected most of the United States, Canada, and even spread down to northern Mexico, will be an expensive event for many years. Given the wide geographic footprint of the cold and storm, which spread from Canada down to as far as northern Mexico, the overall effects and costs of the extreme winter weather event are anticipated to be relatively significant. At this point, it is far too early to conclude any precise estimates of losses, but according to some sources, this could be one of the most expensive winter weather outbreaks in the past ten years. The weather conditions have become unprecedented which are influencing people and their well-being at highest levels. Undoubtedly, climate change and global warming has played their role in it, but the fact of human activities in climate change cannot be denied. The climate change, a non-traditional threat, has impacted human security on a global scale. The situation of weather events and climate change demands attention from authorities at local, national and international level. In addition, result-oriented approaches and policies are needed in order to deal with climate crisis efficiently as humanity cannot tolerate and adapt to the extreme weather conditions as a new normal.
Research Associate, Pakistan House