The weather, currently.
Monsoon season is now officially underway in India, bringing an end at last to the brutal months-long heatwave that proved to be one of the worst in that country’s history.
The India Meteorological Department declared monsoon onset in Mumbai on Saturday, as showers and thunderstorms brought a brief break from baking temperatures. The Indian monsoon is one of the most important weather phenomena in the world, bringing three-fourths of India’s annual rainfall and the driving force behind food and water availability for more than one billion people.
The weeks preceding the monsoon onset features some of the hottest and driest weather anywhere in the world, making daily life nearly impossible at times. That heat stress is borne unequally between the rich and poor in India, and among urban and rural people.
This year, India took drastic steps to keep air conditioners running as power demand surged along with the temperature, firing up dirty coal plants to make up the difference. Per capita, India is one of the countries least responsible for climate change but is bearing some of its worst consequences. The rich countries of the world have long pledged to help India fund its transition to renewable energy, but that money has been painfully slow to arrive.
What you need to know, currently.
A lake in Chile has turned into a desert, amid a 13-year-long drought.
The Peñuelas reservoir, which sits in central Chile, was the main water source for the entire city of Valparaiso, until twenty years ago. At one point, the reservoir held enough water to fill 38,000 Olympic-size swimming pools. Now, it holds enough for just two.
Chile has long been at the center of the South American water crisis, pushing the capital of Santiago to make tentative plans for water rationing. The country’s economy has also suffered; Chile is the world’s largest copper producer, with an economy largely dependent on mining. Without water, however, which the industry relies on heavily for processing, there is no mining. This has affected the livelihoods of Chilean farmers and animal breeders everywhere.
While extreme weather patterns continue to shift, the impacts of the drought can continue to be mitigated, albeit temporarily. But, its long-term future is dependent on the extent of human emissions and human-induced climate change.
— Aarohi Sheth