The source of natural disasters, according to U.S. President Joe Biden, is climate change which has produced global warming. After three weeks of deadly atmospheric river storms caused California, a state long plagued by drought and wildfires, to experience floods and mudslides, he visited some parts of California.
Biden remarked at Seacliff State Beach on the Santa Cruz shoreline, where a collapsed pier served as evidence of the recent storms’ destructive power, that if anyone had any questions about climate change, they must have been sleeping during the previous two years.
Climate change causes extreme weather
Extreme weather brought on by climate change results in more acute droughts, longer wildfire seasons, and bigger and more frequent storms, all of which pose a threat to communities throughout California, according to Biden.
In Santa Cruz County, where flash floods, pounding waves, and runoff from nearby mountains had forced thousands of inhabitants to flee low-lying settlements, Biden went over other storm-devastated areas by helicopter.
Along Capitola’s waterfront, where the lovely coastal community’s dock lay in ruins, he also personally visited with locals and business owners. He then made a quick stop in nearby Seacliff and pledged that FEMA personnel would remain there until everything was mended and completed.
A year prior, Biden traveled to the area of one of Colorado’s most destructive wildfires on record. At the time, he referred to the blaze as a “code red” warning of a dangerously changing climate.
Climate extremes are going to be more frequent
A three-week flurry of nine storms known as atmospheric rivers—massive airborne currents of dense moisture pushed in from the Pacific and fueled by sweeping low-pressure systems churning offshore—has been blamed for at least 20 fatalities.
According to experts, the acute drought and increasing frequency and intensity of these storms are signs of global warming caused by humans. This makes it more challenging to manage California’s limited water supply while reducing the risk of floods and wildfires.
Environmentalists believe Biden made too many concessions to the oil and gas industry to get his climate pact. He encouraged political leaders to act even more forcefully in phasing out greenhouse gas emissions. Burning fossil fuels mostly caused them.
Since Dec. 26, torrential rains have caused severe flooding throughout the state as well as hundreds of mudslides, rockfalls, and sinkholes that have swallowed cars, forced road closures, and even disrupted rail service. During the initial storm wave, flooding brought on by broken levees along the Cosumnes River south of the state capital, Sacramento, claimed the lives of several individuals.
Landslide risks increased each week as a result of repeated saturation, with the majority of the damage occurring below unstable hillsides and canyon slopes left by previous wildfires.
Gale-force winds joined the onslaught of showers and heavy snowfall in the highlands, driving pounding surf into coastal towns, washing out beachside roads and docks, and uprooting thousands of drought-weakened trees in rain-soaked soil.
As many as 200,000 Californians had power outages at various points throughout the storms due to the high winds’ havoc on the state’s electrical infrastructure.
Despite causing significant damage, the storms helped California end a historic four-year dry spell by restocking some severely depleted reservoirs and the Sierra Nevada snowpack, which is a vital source of fresh water for the state.
However, experts have cautioned that the majority of California is still experiencing moderate to severe drought conditions, and there is no guarantee that the rest of the winter would bring on enough precipitation to sustain drought relief.