Climate scientist warns cyclones could soon become the norm in Europe
It is clear that the days of relatively rare extreme weather events in Europe are over. Globally, the climate crisis is at the forefront of all of our minds: from Forest fires in Greece and Turkey for landslides in Japan and flash floods in big cities like New York and London. As anxiety grew, many took to the streets to start demanding that world leaders make drastic changes to save our planet. Nadia bloemendaal—A meteorologist at the Institute for Environmental Studies, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam-on the other hand, prefers to do her activism behind a computer screen, where she thinks that using her skills can really make a difference.
The importance of mapping extreme weather events and early warning systems
Bloemendaal’s job is to model extreme weather conditions, revealing trends in the region that could have a significant impact on life in Europe over the next half century. It combines meteorology, mathematics and physics to produce real representations of the evolution of weather around the world. His work, along with that of countless other meteorologists, produces scientific evidence which, in turn, shapes the course of climate policy around the world.
Bloemendaal originally developed its cyclone early warning system to protect communities in southern countries. Recently, however, more grim forecasts have been made for areas further north. Alarm bells are ringing closer to home. Recent cases of extreme weather conditions, such as deadly flash floods across the continent, should not be considered a rare incident. In fact, it could foreshadow a more dangerous, extreme and unpredictable future European climate.
The floods that hit northern Europe in July 2021 were a tragic disaster, killing at least 180 people. However, if there is a bright side to the incident, it is that the storm protection systems were successful in avoid other victims for people living in the Netherlands. This showed us that warning systems for extreme weather conditions are not only recommended in Europe, they are necessary. The day when Europe is largely safe from extreme weather is behind us, political leaders must step up and implement “early warning systems and adequate communication that can save lives,” said Bloemendaal . Euronews.
Bloemendaal says a warmer climate could serve as fuel for tropical cyclones, especially if the seawater reaches a temperature of 30 degrees Celsius (86 Fahrenheit). In her interview, she continues to warn that seawater temperature at this level can cause the “continuation and intensification of tropical cyclones”.
Cyclones could be the norm in Europe
And the forecasts are grim. As the sea level rises around the world, it will have a ripple impact by increasing the temperature of the water. This is particularly the case in the South, where rising waters could cause the northern coastal regions to reach temperatures of up to 27 degrees Celsius. Based on the science Bloemendaal sees, parts of the world that don’t see tropical cyclones right now could see them in the next 30 to 50 years.
A recent report from 2021 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reaffirms its fears. In the statement, it was confirmed that even at the targeted levels of 1.5 degrees Celsius of global warming, heavy rains and flooding are likely to increase in Europe, as well as Africa, Asia and North America. . Worse yet, it rests on the assumption that the major world powers will stay on their goal of reducing carbon emissions and fighting global warming – a hope that is showing signs of decrease. The report also indicated that observational data across North America, Europe and Asia show that “human influence” is the key factor in driving extreme weather conditions… No surprises then.
The work climatologists like Bloemendaal do to educate us on what our planet has in store for us over the next 50 years should not go unnoticed. Its data indicates that Europe could see tropical cyclones – which can destroy communities, cost millions in damage and ultimately kill innocent people – in our lifetime. However, despite the bad news, Bloemendaal’s work could also indirectly save lives; enable countries to prepare for the worst and put in place effective early warning systems. Not all heroes wear capes.