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The fingerprints on Chile’s fires and California floods: El Niño and warming

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on The New York Times or enjoy below:

🗞️ Driving the news: Chile and California are currently experiencing severe climate-related disasters, with wildfires in Chile killing over 120 people and record-breaking rains causing floods and mudslides in Southern California
These events are exacerbated by climate change and the natural weather phenomenon known as El Niño, leading to a combination of extreme weather conditions.

🔭 The context: In California, an atmospheric river storm fueled by high Pacific Ocean temperatures has led to unprecedented rainfall, while Chile faces devastating wildfires following a decade-long drought and a severe heatwave
Both situations are intensified by this year's El Niño, marked by unusually warm ocean temperatures that affect global climate patterns

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: These disasters underscore the increasing frequency and intensity of extreme weather events as the climate continues to change
They highlight the urgent need for comprehensive strategies to manage both drought and flood risks, reflecting the complex challenges posed by global warming.

⏭️ What's next: Experts warn of the need for better preparedness for such extreme weather events, emphasizing that infrastructure and emergency response plans must evolve to address the growing risks of climate change and El Niño's impacts
The events in Chile and California serve as a stark reminder of the urgent need for climate adaptation and mitigation efforts worldwide.

💬 One quote: "These synchronized fires and floods in Chile and California are certainly a reminder of the weather extremes and their impacts in otherwise benign Mediterranean climates," said John Abatzoglou, a climate scientist, highlighting the global challenge of adapting to increasingly volatile weather patterns.

📈 One stat: Over 120 people have died in Chile due to wildfires, and parts of the Santa Monica Mountains recorded more than seven inches of rain over a weekend, showcasing the extreme nature of the current climate events.

Click for more news covering the latest on climate change

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