Climate change is happening one may believe it or not. A wide range of natural disasters struck numerous parts of the world in 2021 as well.
From deadly floods and wildfires to record-breaking rainfall and temperatures, several countries have been affected by it. Floods in Europe and China drew global attention in the summer. Greenland also saw an exceptional mid-August melt event with rain reported for the first time at the ice sheet’s research station.
Here are the top 5 major environmental events of 2021:
Cyclone Ana, Fili (January)
Cyclone Ana battered Fiji towards the end of January this year killing one person. It came just a month after category 5 Cyclone Yasa tore through the country’s northern islands.
Some 10,000 people sought shelter at emergency evacuation centres as floods and rain destroyed homes, as well as agricultural land and other infrastructure.
Tropical Cyclone Ana; the 2nd in a month exits #Fiji 🇫🇯 – leaving behind a difficult recovery. On a personal note, for the very first time in our family history , boats sailed into my mum’s home street for rescue (3rd pic). We have lived here since 1921. Fiji will rebuild. pic.twitter.com/5F16R3EsZv
— Satyendra Prasad (@sprasadfj) January 31, 2021
Blazing cold in Texas, US (February)
In February, temperatures dropped to -13 degrees Celsius in some areas of Texas, causing widespread electricity cuts.
The Week US reported that 3.5 million businesses and homes were left without power. The unprecedented deep freeze led to the deaths of hundreds of people and left millions in the dark for days.
Team Rubicon continues to monitor severe winter storms and cold weather affecting Texas + neighboring states throughout the US.
— Team Rubicon (@TeamRubicon) February 17, 2021
Sandstorms in Beijing (March)
China witnessed its worst sandstorm in a decade in February 2021, forcing flights to a halt and shuttering schools. It also worsened air quality and pollution levels across the country.
The sandstorms spread from Inner Mongolia into the provinces of Gansu, Shanxi and Hubei, which surrounds Beijing.
— Jinfeng Zhou (@Zhou_jinfeng) March 15, 2021
Heatwave in Canada (June)
A heatwave in Canada and adjacent parts of the USA pushed temperatures to nearly 50°C in a village in British Columbia in June. According to reports, it killed 569 people over five days.
The deaths represent a 195 per cent increase from 165 deaths that would normally occur in the province across a five-day period, authorities had said.
At 4:20pm, Lytton Climate Station reported 49.5°C, once again, breaking the daily and all-time temperature records for the 3rd straight day. Final numbers and all other temperature records will be posted later this afternoon. #BCStorm pic.twitter.com/jYpvxM0iIy
— ECCC Weather British Columbia (@ECCCWeatherBC) June 29, 2021
Wildfires in Greece (August)
Huge wildfires ravaged large regions of southern Europe in August, claiming lives in Greece, Turkey and Italy following a heatwave swept the region.
The country’s second-largest island of Evia was evacuated as more than 580 fires swept through the region.
Thousands of people have been evacuated
— 🇪🇺 DG DEFIS #StrongerTogether (@defis_eu) August 9, 2021