Are the floods in Pakistan and the wildfires in Russia related?

Extreme weather has been grabbing headlines this summer. A major heat wave in Russia and flooding in Pakistan have had devastating effects, including loss of life and livelihood. Russians are plagued with wildfires and smog and the UN estimates that 6 million Pakistanis are in need of emergency aid.

Need to Know’s Alison Stewart speaks with Dr. Kevin Trenberth, the head of climate analysis at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado. He explains the meteorological dynamics at work and speaks of the larger implications of climate change — both problems and possibilities.

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Related:

Photos: The flooding in Pakistan

The view from above

 
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Comments

  • B Becker

    Thank-you for getting down to the serious issues that face our nation and planet. This is what I expect from a PBS news program, something that has not already been covered in every “nightly” or cable show.

    It is about time that a coherent program is produced that discusses the climatic changes that are happening around the planet; Americans tend not to notice anything that is happening outside of the contiguous 48 states. The droughts, floods and fires are rapidly becoming more frequent and larger when they occur…… “Regular” weather patterns are being replaced by record setting cold, heat, rainfall and drought. I live in Hawaii, a state that is receiving 40% less rainfall than it did in the early 1900s (as stated in a USGS report on the Hawaiian islands). This year is the 8th of a severe drought. Most of the state has received just 30-35% of “average” rainfall. The American public needs to learn more about climate change and the fact that it will not just be “global warming”…… Remember your great Nova segment about “Global Dimming?”

    NEED TO KNOW has been slotted to replace NOW and the Moyers Report, they are huge shoes to fill, but the need to know has never been greater. Please focus your reporting not on rehashing the week’s top stories, but instead, focus on the “year’s or the century’s” top stories..

    Your report on blood transfusions was just such a piece.

    Thank-you.

  • MT Sidoli

    I miss Bill Moyers – his voice, intellect, and deapth of questioning. His guests, especially the returning guests, were always at the top of their game and he was the cherry on top!! Progress…well, I am enjoying Need to Know and appreciate your indepth reporting. My friday night date is: The News Hour, Gwen Ifill, and Need to Know – add a nice robust red wine – Perfect!
    MT Sidoli

  • http://northcapitolstreet.com/2010/08/audio-are-the-floods-in-pakistan-and-the-wildfires-in-russia-related/ Audio: Are the Floods in Pakistan and the Wildfires in Russia Related? North Capitol Street

    [...] podcast was produced by Need to Know as part of the Climate Desk collaboration. [...]

  • Henry

    This expert, like most, is missing some very serious points: the ecosystem cannot prepare by buying an air conditioner. We cannot farm or engineer ourselves out of this. We are dependent on an intact, somewhat predictable/regular ecosystem. The infrastructure that we humans have created for our needs is going to be trashed by these events, just like we trashed the ecosystem that existed before we humans took over. Pakistan is now a washout. Where is the reporting on all of the wild animals killed and habitat destroyed (the web of life) by the flood? Why do we care only about the people? This is only the beginning.

  • mc

    Pakistan is a wash. Their Ecosystem has been destroyed completely through chemical warfare and I don’t think anything will grow in Pakistan. When the Ecosystem is gone, everything is gone.
    How can they report wild life habitat? As George Page with Nature rightly commented on wild life , that the only worst animal is the humans. They cannot create anything but can only destroy.

  • Liam

    Kevin Trenberth is almost incomprehensible. In today’s media environment how can a top scientist communicate such a critical issue so poorly?

  • lifeistao

    I agree, human are so selfish and self absorbed, we don’t even want to contribute to this earth after we die, we put ourselves in a tightly sealed wooden box which takes so long to be decomposed. Sometimes I really start to believe human are high class pest – top of food chain, which is worse than the pest from the bottom of food chain.

  • lifeistao

    I agree, human are so selfish and self absorbed, we don’t even want to contribute to this earth after we die, we put ourselves in a tightly sealed wooden box which takes so long to be decomposed. Sometimes I really start to believe human are high class pest – top of food chain, which is worse than the pest from the bottom of food chain.

  • lifeistao

    I agree, human are so selfish and self absorbed, we don’t even want to contribute to this earth after we die, we put ourselves in a tightly sealed wooden box which takes so long to be decomposed. Sometimes I really start to believe human are high class pest – top of food chain, which is worse than the pest from the bottom of food chain.

  • lifeistao

    I’m also kind of disappointed with this interview. I always believe that most people can’t comprehend the massive and complicated scale of global warming, then we should start out with our immediate urgency on “eco system and environmental pollution”.

    TV programs are increasingly designed for short attention span audience, like “take outs”. This interview is somewhat misleading, I wonder how much this interview would help the people who always have question about taking responsibility on climate changes and environmental destruction.

  • lifeistao

    I’m also kind of disappointed with this interview. I always believe that most people can’t comprehend the massive and complicated scale of global warming, then we should start out with our immediate urgency on “eco system and environmental pollution”.

    TV programs are increasingly designed for short attention span audience, like “take outs”. This interview is somewhat misleading, I wonder how much this interview would help the people who always have question about taking responsibility on climate changes and environmental destruction.

  • lifeistao

    I’m also kind of disappointed with this interview. I always believe that most people can’t comprehend the massive and complicated scale of global warming, then we should start out with our immediate urgency on “eco system and environmental pollution”.

    TV programs are increasingly designed for short attention span audience, like “take outs”. This interview is somewhat misleading, I wonder how much this interview would help the people who always have question about taking responsibility on climate changes and environmental destruction.