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Climate: What a summer of disaster tells us

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Friday, July 30, 2021

After the hottest June in recorded history obliterated temperature records not only in Death Valley (130 degrees) but also in usually mild locales like Seattle (108) and British Columbia (121), supercharged rainstorms created massive flooding in central Europe and China, turning streets into raging rivers and killing hundreds. Forest fires are now ravaging Siberia (Siberia!), Canada, and the Pacific Northwest, where Oregon's historic Bootleg Fire has so far consumed a staggering 400,000 acres of woodland, in a blaze so intense it has its own weather system — including lightning storms that start more fires. The inferno has also created a continent-wide plume of smoke now reddening sunsets and making it hard to breathe as far away as New York.

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