SEVERE WEATHER AHEAD: SHE’S PREDICTING THE NEXT CLIMATE CRISIS

This article discusses how climate change will affect the weather in nations throughout the world.

In Cape Town, the residents brace for “Day Zero” in late August, when the taps could run dry. Further north, in the Sahel, drought has prematurely thrust migrating communities into the crosshairs of soldiers from Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger, adding to the conflict around the Lake Chad Basin.

Looking out her window at the snow-covered ground following another nor’easter, climate scientist Lisa Goddard ponders weather’s effect on other global crises: the drought leading to the Syrian civil war, torrential rain causing floods in India and Pakistan, the recent hurricanes that wrecked the Caribbean — outcomes she might have predicted. But unlike a TV meteorologist, Goddard, director of Columbia University’s International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI), doesn’t attempt to forecast the weather on any specific day. Rather, she looks months ahead, offering longer-term predictions — a bit like The Old Farmer’s Almanac but with “climatology and actual statistics of variability behind it,” she says.

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