Italy is overwhelmed by extreme climate events: a wake-up call for everyone

An Italy divided in two, this time not by political differences, by pandemics or by fans but by climate change. On July 24 and 25, 2023, 24 hours were enough to put an entire country in a state of emergency. Milan are trying to measure the damage occurred on the evening of July 24, with winds of 100 km/h, while Sicily is fighting against time amid wildfiresmelted underground cables that could not withstand the heat and Catania without water or electricity

As always when we talk about climate, we find ourselves drawing comparisons to apocalyptic movie plots, but this time it really feels like the work of a particularly strange writer.

A few nights ago, on one of the main Italian television stations, climate deniers commented with a certain superiority, typical of those who are convinced of their own wisdom, about the events that hit Sicily. In particular, they emphasized how all this was not caused by the hand of man in the slightest.

On the morning of July 25th Milan woke up at 4.00 in the middle of a storm which caused extensive damage, so much so that the total financial budget due to the damage reached 100 million between Milan, Bergamo and Brianza. The cause? Falling trees and hail.

In the meantime, there are also news of two victims: a young girl who was hit by a tree while sleeping in a tent with her fellow scouts, and an eighty-year-old lady who was not rescued in Palermo because of the fires.

In the same context, a day later, on July 23, a Delta Air Lines Boeing 767 that took off from Milan and was headed for New York had to make an emergency landing in Rome. The hail that hit Lombardy, in fact, damaged the wings, one of the two engines, broke the cockpit window and literally pierced the nose of the aircraft.

Leaving the tennis-ball-sized hail and descending again towards Sicily, hectares and hectares of Mediterranean bush were engulfed in flames, as was the Bellolampo landfill at risk of exhaling toxic fumes and blocking the collection. Airports are struggling and the tourist season appears to be in serious jeopardy.

Meanwhile, the World Weather Attribution analyzed how human-induced climate change has altered the intensity of the world’s major extreme weather events.

From this analysis, the scientists report verbatim that without human-induced climate change, extreme weather events like those of recent months would be extremely rare. In China there would be a one in 250 year event, while the heat wave that occurred in the United States, Mexico or southern Europe would be impossible.

Science speaks clearly and there really is no more time, Our infrastructure is not adequate and suitable to withstand events of this magnitudenot to mention health risks such as, for example, the spread of dengue fever, West Nile fever and other epidemics

All of this is simply the result of living on a planet at +1.1 degrees Celsius. Trajectory is +3.

We are hopeful at this year’s COP28, even if the conditions are far from positive.

Federica Gasbarro works with The Wom independently and is in no way associated with the advertisements that may appear in this content.

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