8th Sep 2012

Weird and Wicked Weather

Droughts, floods, storms, wildfires, hurricanes… Is this extreme weather just a natural period of bad luck, or are proof that the Earth’s climate has been dangerously shifted by human activities? Well, probably both. Natural climate cycles such as El Niño and La Niña may be driving forces in recent disasters and wild weather: the strange balance in the equatorial Pacific region affects worldwide weather because it influences the heat and water vapour in the atmosphere. However, natural cycles can’t explain it all—the Earth’s surface temperature is certainly getting steadily warmer, and years of observation showing a build-up of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, trapping gases. National Geographic shows us some of the most spectacularly terrifying results of these fluctuations in our weather.

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