As the world staggers through another summer of extreme weather, experts are noticing something different: 2021′s onslaught is hitting harder and in places that have been spared global warming’s wrath in the past.
Wealthy countries such as the United States, Canada, Germany and Belgium are joining poorer and more vulnerable nations on a growing list of extreme weather events that scientists say have some connection to human-caused climate change.
“It is not only a poor country problem, it’s now very obviously a rich county problem,” said Debby Guha-Sapir, founder of the international disaster database at the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters at Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium. “They (the rich) are getting whacked.”
Killer floods hit China, but hundreds of people also drowned in parts of Germany and Belgium not used to being inundated. Canada and the Pacific Northwest of the U.S. had what climate scientist Zeke Hausfather called “scary” heat that soared well past triple digits in Fahrenheit and into high 40s in Celsius, shattering records and accompanied by unusual wildfires. Now southern Europe is seeing unprecedented heat and fire.