In what could be called a twist of irony, the New York Times on Friday—the same day it was widely reported that the 'paper of record' was closing its environmental desk—also pushed beyond a terrible habit held by most US outlets by publishing an especially worthy news story that explained the often ignored fact that an 'overall hotter world' in terms of global warming and climate change can be seen in all manner of weather events, be they 'heat, flood, or icy cold.'
Including some of the most notable and recent examples, the Times reports:
China is enduring its coldest winter in nearly 30 years. Brazil is in the grip of a dreadful heat spell. Eastern Russia is so freezing — minus 50 degrees Fahrenheit, and counting — that the traffic lights recently stopped working in the city of Yakutsk.
Bush fires are raging across Australia, fueled by a record-shattering heat wave. Pakistan was inundated by unexpected flooding in September. A vicious storm bringing rain, snow and floods just struck the Middle East. And in the United States, scientists confirmed this week what people could have figured out simply by going outside: last year was the hottest since records began.
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“Each year we have extreme weather, but it’s unusual to have so many extreme events around the world at once,” said Omar Baddour, chief of the data management applications division at the World Meteorological Organization, in Geneva. “The heat wave in Australia; the flooding in the U.K., and most recently the flooding and extensive snowstorm in the Middle East — it’s already a big year in terms of extreme weather calamity.”
Such events are increasing in intensity as well as frequency, Mr. Baddour said, a sign that climate change is not just about rising temperatures, but also about intense, unpleasant, anomalous weather of all kinds.
Scientists and climate activists who often criticize major media for the poverty of their reporting on what they perceive as the most vital issue of our time will be pleased to read the story in its entirety (here).
The closure of the NYT's environment desk, however, may indicate to readers that they shouldn't expect much more of this any time soon.