The years come and go and not much changes. Globally, 2017 has been one of the hottest years on record. Extreme rainfall has been heavier than average with torrential and devastating events in India during the monsoon season, Venezuela in August and September and Nigeria during the same months. Russia has had its wettest year since 2013.
On the other hand, after a fairly mundane start to the year, in the end no continent was left unscathed by the extreme droughts and the heatwave that affected Europe in the summer was one of the most intense and long-lasting for many years. And, of course, we must not forget the tropical storms and hurricanes that have devastated parts of the Caribbean. To crown it all, we had to cope with the destructive fires caused by the droughts and violent winds that swept across thousands of hectares in California, Portugal and Greece, resulting in hundreds of deaths and thousands of people made homeless.
The report on the climate system, with contributions from more than 500 scientists, confirms that the planet is suffering from global warming. El Niño and the total eclipse of the moon have possibly had a role to play but that is only part of the problem. CO2 emissions are once again increasing, with a rise of 2% and the worst is yet to come.
So how can we combat these phenomena? Controlling the use of water and improving irrigation management would be a good start. Every citizen must consider what he or she can do. The ‘Holy’ alliance between the key players must make the protection of the environment a priority at all levels, especially at the political stage.