verkooijen1_Marcus YamLos Angeles Times via Getty Images_california wildfire Marcus Yam/Los Angeles TImes via Getty Images

Living with Climate Change

The debate over climate change is no longer about what causes global warming. Rather, the issue for policymakers is how to ensure that billions of at-risk people and businesses around the world can rapidly adapt and ensure that their communities are as resilient as possible.

ROTTERDAM – For anyone still undecided about the consequences of global warming, the summer of 2018, one of the hottest on record, should have tipped the scales. Across far-flung longitudes and latitudes, regions are struggling with the fallout from large-scale climate-related events.

In the southern United States, cities and towns pummeled by Hurricane Florence in September were still drying out when Hurricane Michael brought more flooding in October. In California, firefighters are battling the embers of the largest wildfire in state history. And in parts of Latin America, Europe, Africa, and Asia, agricultural output is in freefall following months of stifling heat.

Cooler weather has done little to ease the suffering. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, “moderate” to “exceptional” drought conditions cover 25.1% of the United States. But “extreme” and “exceptional” drought – the worst categories – expanded to cover 6.3% of the country, up from 6% in mid-September. Regions in Australia also are struggling with the worst drought in a generation.

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