From sweltering heatwaves to dangerous downpours, it’s been a year of wicked weather and climate-related disasters. CGTN’s Joshua Cartwright reports.
2018 was a year that burned.
Wildfires roasted Europe, the United States, and even the Arctic Circle.
Scores of people died trying to escape the worst flames in years that hit the coastal area of Greece, and California saw record-breaking blazes that destroyed thousands of hectares of land.
The deadliest of them, the “Camp Fire,” claimed dozens of lives.
Heat waves swept the globe, breaking record high temperatures, which only worsened the fires.
Volcanoes also turned up the heat during the spring and summer and Hawaii’s Kilauea dominated headlines for its continuous eruptions.
The eruption of Guatemala’s ‘Volcano of Fire’ was different. It lasted only a day, but killed at least 160. It was the volcano’s deadliest eruption since the 1920s.
August saw heavy rainfall in India’s Kerala State brought the worst flooding there in a century. It claimed the lives of more than 360 and displaced hundreds of thousands.
Hundreds were also lost to flooding in Japan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Nigeria.
2018 was also a stormy year in the Atlantic Ocean.
The United States was hit by massive hurricanes – Florence and Michael – which caused serious damage to the country’s southeast region.
Super Typhoon Mangkhut was the year’s worst storm.
It left a trail of destruction as it moved through Guam, the Philippines, and southern China. By the time Mangkhut was finished, more than a hundred people had died.
Indonesia is no stranger to earthquakes. In September, a 7.5 magnitude quake hit and triggered a tsunami with waves up to 5.5 meters, which washed away homes and families and killed more than 2,000.
Extreme weather lead to thousands of deaths and affected tens of millions in 2018. Scientists are becoming increasingly able to pinpoint blame for some of the events on climate change, and they say the trend may become the new normal.