Western Europe is in the middle of a record-breaking heat wave, with countries such as France, Germany, Poland, Portugal, the Czech Republic, Spain, and Switzerland suffering through sweltering heat, brought on by an abnormal high-pressure system that has parked itself over the region. Soaring temperatures have prompted heat alerts from
For the first time in recorded history, a cyclone that formed in the Northern Hemisphere during the month of February, Typhoon Wutip, reached the strength of a category-5 storm. While this storm isn’t necessarily the strongest on record, the fact that a category-5-equivalent super typhoon, with sustained wind speeds of
Hurricane Michael made landfall in the Florida Panhandle earlier today, but it did so as a category-4 hurricane with wind speeds of up to 150 mph (240 kph), rather than the category-3 that it was originally forecast to be. This is the strongest storm to hit the Panhandle on record, fueled by unusually warm 84ºF (29ºC) water temperatures. The storm is projected to track northeast over Georgia and the Carolinas, a circumstance that might exacerbate an already disastrous situation if Michael adds rain to the areas already affected by flooding from Hurricane Florence. More than 370,000 people along the Gulf coast have been ordered to evacuate, but authorities are concerned that many did not heed the warning.
Back in 1985 when I published Nature’s End, my publisher arranged a news conference in Washington. The environmental reporters who showed up mostly scoffed at the warnings in the book. It predicted terrible fires, catastrophic droughts and pollution emergencies among other things, set in the context of a science fiction story. It was set in the year 2020. My co-author James Kunetka and I had called it with heartbreaking accuracy. We were ignored.