Major rainstorms in the United States have affected tens of thousands of people and, in cases of some hurricanes, more. The new UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a report that says these incidents will get much worse, and some places will be entirely flooded within decades and will not be habitable.
Another example of extreme climate change has hit outside the United States and devastated an area where 580,000 people live, killing dozens earlier this week.
Torrential rains in India’s largest state have killed 48 people in a day. Uttar Pradesh is on India’s northern border. River flooding, also a problem in parts of the United States this year, caused most of the problems in this region of the world’s second most populated nation. Some rivers were well above what is known as “warning levels.”
A study by Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies says the flooding problems in India will get worse. The reasons are the same as in other areas flooded by unprecedentedly strong storms. A paper titled “As the Monsoon and Climate Shift, India Faces Worsening Floods” says:
The torrential rains that submerged parts of India this year are the latest in a string of major floods in the past decade, some caused by record rainfall — a scenario that many worry could become the “new normal” as climate change increases the frequency of extreme weather.
Ironically, temperatures well over 120 degrees have plagued the desert state of Rajasthan, just west of Uttar Pradesh. Scientists believe that this level of heat and the lack of water will drive people from some parts of this area, which is home to over 50 million people.
The flooded areas of India and those with incredibly high temperatures beg the question of where, over time, millions of people will go to escape extreme weather events. This is as true in the United States as in India, as floods and rising oceans consume parts of the east coast and areas along America’s largest rivers. These are the worst floods in American history. The Indian floods show that areas 7,000 miles from the United States face similar fates.