Sunday March 21st… Dear Diary. The main purpose of this ongoing blog will be to track United States extreme or record temperatures related to climate change. Any reports I see of ETs will be listed below the main topic of the day. I’ll refer to extreme or record temperatures as ETs (not extraterrestrials)😉
Main Topic: How Coronavirus May Affect Climate Crisis Response Later This Year
Dear Diary. As of mid March I don’t see any major climate crisis weather related items currently detrimentally affecting the U.S. or world population. The Australian fires are out, and there is no wild weather pummeling the U.S. on this Sunday, thank goodness.
What though might happen if major landfalling hurricanes and wildfires occur later this summer and fall, given a middle of the road scenario of the coronavirus health crisis, which continues to get worse across the globe? What might happen if major landfalling hurricanes and wildfires occur later this summer and fall? What can responders and aid workers do if the climate and coronavirus crisies intersect?
These are questions that major news outlets are starting to ponder. Here is one from the New York Times:
We need to start playing the “what if” game to prepare for the worst. Obviously, warm conditions, so far, for most of the United States in 2020 do not bode well for future flooding and wildfires later in 2020. Also, Gulf and Atlantic waters are warmer than average, and without the presence of an El Nino this coming hurricane season could be deadly. FEMA may be hard pressed to do much if a hurricane of any proportion strikes our coast say in August if a half million people have been sickened from COVID-19.
Too, responders may have to adjust to a world fighting infection. Firefighters not only would have to fight conflagrations but protect themselves from potential infection from other firefighters. Social distancing among first responders may be impossible, so we may call on people to make an ultimate sacrifice. Thankfully contracting COVID-19 isn’t a death sentence for most healthy people, but added stress from responding to a hurricane will probably tend to make aid workers sicker.
Knowing the climate crisis we don’t have many weeks for a lull in the onslaught of bad weather surely to affect this nation and the rest of the world. Soon we will see typical spring tornadic activity across the United States, which can tax first responders and victims regardless of the climate crisis. Victims who survive a tornado may end up homeless, having to rely on friends and neighbors for help. When social isolation is necessary to keep victims safe from infection problems become compounded.
Will there be shortages of medical equipment and supplies for hurricane and tornado victims, much more than is usual? What about shelters where people are usually temporarily housed in close quarters before and during the aftermath of hurricanes and other large scale natural disasters? I’m hoping that we don’t see an every man and woman for themselves situation later in 2020.
All of this is food for thought, which I hope people in government are considering from local levels all the way to the Trump Administration. We will see how all this plays out on the Extreme Temperature Diary. Don’t state that all haven’t been warned.
Now, here are some of todays articles on the coronavirus:
Here is more climate and weather news from Sunday:
(As usual, this will be a fluid post in which more information gets added during the day as it crosses my radar, crediting all who have put it on-line. Items will be archived on this site for posterity. In most instances click on the pictures of each tweet to see each article.)
Here is one big “ET” from Antarctica. Yes it can still get cold in this era of overall global warming:
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Guy Walton “The Climate Guy”