A study from Stanford University shows that the extreme weather that brought record floods and damaging wildfires to the United States in the past year is just the beginning of what’s to come. According to the study, global warming has led to increasingly harsh spells of heat and drought as well as rain and snow being up to five times as likely to occur globally in the future. The study can offer a chance for cities and nations to prepare for the climatic turmoil. Noah Diffenbaugh, Professor of Earth System Science at Stanford University, stated,
These extremes are really where we get tested. We’ve seen that in California in recent years, and we’ve seen that in the U.S. in recent years, particularly in this last year.
According to federal data, there were 16 climate events nationwide that inflicted at least $1 billion each in damage last year, which made 2017 the costliest year for natural disasters in U.S. history. The study found that the toll in California and elsewhere should dramatically worsen as global temperatures continue to climb. Ben Preston, director of the nonprofit Rand Corp.’s Infrastructure Resilience and Environmental Policy Program, says that gaining a better understanding of future climate is vital for governments so they can prepare. He believes that infrastructure must be designed with weather extremes in mind. Hopefully, cities will start to prepare for more severe weather.