Oct 2, 2023

How Cities Need to Adapt to Deal with Extreme Weather Events

After climate change disasters have been effect millions all over the world, it's now time to make real change.

How Cities Need to Adapt to Deal with Extreme Weather Events

After a ‘state of emergency’ has been declared in New York, approximately 23 million people were under flood watches across various parts of city. Extreme rainfall has brought the city to a standstill as roads, subway lines and airports have been shut down.

There has been around 17cm (7 inches) of rainfall over 24 hours, which is way over the maximum which the cities infrastructure can hold (which is around 2 inches per day).

This unexpected weather event has shaken the entire city, although a similar event happened around two years prior, in 2021. Even though the city was badly affected by flooding only 2 years ago, there was little to no improvement are safeguarding around the more frequent extreme weather events, which in turn, allowed an even worse flooding event to occur.

As this has terribly affected the livelihoods of millions of people and caused damage to homes and businesses, there needs to be a lesson learnt for the leaders of the US and the city itself, to help reduce the suffering of the citizens.

The frequency of extreme weather

More extreme weather patterns have because of the global warming we are causing. These weather patterns can include longer heatwaves and droughts, extreme rain, and more common wildfires.

An example of some extreme weather events in recent times would be the wildfires across Canada, these were mainly caused by the draughts over the past year, these create dry land which is perfect for fire to spread at a rate which even our finest firefighters can keep up with.

Of course, extreme weather events have always happened, and always will happen, however, the number of events which are due to the worsening climate caused by us is on the rise and has been for the past few decades. These are a real eyeopener to the fact what we are causing these events, and the damage that comes with them. Although they are terrible disasters, they are a wakeup call to the fact that we should be looking after the planet and reducing these events as much as possible.

How cities are dealing with the weather now.

Many cities have measures they take to reduce the effect of these climate related disasters. For example, some areas which are badly affected by wildfires plant fire-resistant vegetation around high-risk areas of land, reducing the spread of fires.

Another way in which some cities are reducing the effects are by building scale rainwater retention tanks which collect rainwater runoff from roofs to reduce the amount of water that can flow into the city’s streets and waterways.

There are many other ways in which cities and other parts of the world are combatting or reducing the effect of extreme weather patterns, and more are being created every year. However, there is only so much we can do to reduce the effect of them, as attacking the root cause is the best way to stop the disastrous damage they can cause.

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