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Andreas Kluth

When Jet and Gulf Streams Run Amok, We’re In For It

Rising temperatures are already causing floods, heat waves and forest fires. Just wait until global warming disrupts the currents that move air and water around the planet.

Life during the Anthropocene.

Life during the Anthropocene.

Photographer: Milos Bicanski/Getty Images

The weather disasters spanning the globe this summer — infernal fires in California and Greece, deadly floods from Germany to China, heat waves from Canada to Siberia — are really just nature’s shots across our bow. 

That becomes clear if you absorb this week’s report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the body of the United Nations that assesses the state of science on global warming. No matter what policies we adopt — and obviously we should aim for good ones — the weather will keep getting more catastrophic more often.