Click the link to read the article on The New York Times website (David Gelles). Here’s an excerpt:
Catastrophic floods in the Hudson Valley. An unrelenting heat dome over Phoenix. Ocean temperatures hitting 90 degrees Fahrenheit off the coast of Miami. A surprising deluge in Vermont, a rare tornado in Delaware. A decade ago, any one of these events would have been seen as an aberration. This week, they are happening simultaneously as climate change fuels extreme weather, prompting Governor Kathy Hochul of New York, a Democrat, to call it “our new normal.” Over the past month, smoke from Canadian wildfires blanketed major cities around the country, a deadly heat wave hit Texas and Oklahoma and torrential rains flooded parts of Chicago.
“It’s not just a figment of your imagination, and it’s not because everybody now has a smartphone,” said Jeff Berardelli, the chief meteorologist and climate specialist for WFLA News in Tampa. “We’ve seen an increase in extreme weather. This without a doubt is happening.”
It is likely to get more extreme. This year, a powerful El Niño developing in the Pacific Ocean is poised to unleash additional heat into the atmosphere, fueling yet more severe weather around the globe.
“We are going to see stuff happen this year around Earth that we have not seen in modern history,” Mr. Berardelli said.
And yet even as storms, fires and floods become increasingly frequent, climate change lives on the periphery for most voters. In a nation focused on inflation, political scandals and celebrity feuds, just 8 percent of Americans identified global warming as the most important issue facing the country, according to a recent NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll. As climate disasters become more commonplace, they may be losing their shock value. A 2019 study concluded that people learn to accept extreme weather as normal in as little as two years.