The New York Times discusses how we should expect more dam failures because of climate change. Engineers say most dams in the United States, designed decades ago, are unsuited to a warmer world and stronger storms. The dam that failed in Central Michigan on Tuesday gave way for the same reason most do: It was overwhelmed by water. Almost five inches of rain fell in the area in the previous two days, after earlier storms had saturated the ground and swollen the Tittabawassee River, which the dam held back. No one can say yet whether the intense rainfall that preceded this disaster was made worse by climate change. But global warming is already causing some regions to become wetter, and increasing the frequency of extreme storms, according to the latest National Climate Assessment. The trends are expected to continue as the world gets even warmer.
A second New York Times article discusses how scientists are predicting a very busy hurricane season during the pandemic. This year’s season is complicated by the coronavirus pandemic, which makes relief strategies like group shelters risky.