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Renewable Vibes > News > Blog > Climate change likely had a role in the abundance of extreme winter storms experienced in January.

Climate change likely had a role in the abundance of extreme winter storms experienced in January.

Millions of Americans are facing winter storm and flood alerts this week, following a weekend of flash floods in states like Pennsylvania and Illinois. The frequency of extreme wintry conditions has been increasing due to climate change, according to recent analyses.

In northeastern Illinois, warm temperatures caused ice on the Kankakee River to destabilize, resulting in major flooding and the evacuation of around 200 homes. The situation was described as the worst ice backup seen in the area. In the Pittsburgh metro area, record rainfall from a coastal storm led to evacuations and flood watches for 15 million Americans in the region. Arkansas also experienced flash floods after record-high water levels on the Cache River caused a levee failure.

Winter storms have been particularly active this month, and a recent analysis by ClimaMeter, an international consortium of climate scientists, found that climate change is largely responsible for increased precipitation during winter storms. The analysis also highlighted the challenges posed by these storms in a warming climate.

The National Climate Assessment predicts that the Northeast will experience severe increases in precipitation due to climate change, and Northeast Illinois is already experiencing more flooding, making it Chicago’s most pressing climate risk.

While the storms in the Northeast are subsiding, California and other Western states are bracing for a major downpour caused by an atmospheric river. The ClimaMeter consortium analyzed a winter storm in San Diego and found that while the region is in a megadrought, storms are becoming wetter and causing more runoff and flooding.

In other climate news, a new study reveals that $223 billion will be invested over the next decade to produce natural gas worldwide, driven by demand in Europe and led by new developments in the United States.

Meanwhile, there are concerns about the Biden administration’s ability to replace John Kerry as special presidential climate envoy, as a national defense bill requires special envoys to receive Senate confirmation. This could limit the U.S.’s ability to coordinate and carry out climate policy globally. Additionally, the Biden administration published new energy efficiency standards for gas stoves, but the final rule is less stringent than initially proposed due to GOP backlash.

In a unique climate protest, two activists threw soup at the glass-protected Mona Lisa painting at the Louvre Museum in Paris, advocating for a sustainable food system. This demonstration is part of a string of controversial protests that have targeted famous artworks and sparked debate within the climate movement.

Overall, the impact of climate change is evident in the increasing frequency of extreme weather events, such as winter storms and floods. These events pose significant challenges and risks, highlighting the need for adaptation and mitigation strategies in a warming climate.

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