In this drone image, snow blankets a neighborhood, Sunday, Dec. 25, 2022, in Cheektowaga, New York.(Photo | AP)
In this drone image, snow blankets a neighborhood, Sunday, Dec. 25, 2022, in Cheektowaga, New York.(Photo | AP)

US winter storm points to grim climate future

So far, at least 37 people have been killed by the deep freeze, which deposited over 40 inches of snow at certain places.

A ‘once-in-a-generation’ snowstorm has brought vast swathes of the US to a halt. Americans have been forced into the confines of their homes during and after Christmas as the extreme weather has left thousands without power for days together. Heart-rending stories of people trapped in their vehicles, stranded on highways, and some even perishing without access to emergency services, have come to the fore while hundreds of rescue and community workers now fan out to provide help and support.

The blizzard surges forward along the Eastern Seaboard with heaping snow drifts across states, making people struggle on their way to warm shelters. Those with critical medical conditions are experiencing the dreadful whiteout that has battered the nation over the last few weeks. The storm spans the Great Lakes of Canada till the borders of Mexico. At least 60% of the US population is under one winter advisory or the other as the mercury continues its plunge.

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So far, at least 37 people have been killed by the deep freeze, which deposited over 40 inches of snow at certain places. At one point of time, close to a million people suffered a power outage, leaving utility services critically hit. Thousands of flights were cancelled, while holiday travellers were either stranded or had to reschedule their Christmas-New Year plans, with the winter storm Elliot leaving a trail of snow in its wake.

As the US struggles with the horrifying tales of the ‘bomb cyclone’, the rest of the world must be shuddering with a foreboding of the grim times we live in and what awaits us. On the science front, too, much has happened, and meteorologists, as well as climate scientists, at some point would sit down to reflect if this is another facet of the Blue Planet coming to terms with climate disaster. If one looks back, one would realise the world has experienced some of the worst weather events. The US, on its part, has seen too much in terms of heat waves, flooding, warming and wildfires—all in just a few years. Far too many nations, with very little resources, also have come to experience the frightening ways of nature, with a recurrence of calamities that threaten to become normal in the days and years to come. Climate change is real. Humankind is in for excruciating times. There is no escape.

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The New Indian Express
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