Camilla Hodgson

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Can cities adapt to an era of extreme heat?

The ancient Greeks pioneered a range of innovations to cool their houses during the summer, planting trees to provide natural shade and designing buildings to limit which spaces felt the full blast of the sun’s rays.

Thousands of years later, their descendants are drawing upon the same kind of ideas to cool down the city of Athens. One of Europe’s hottest cities, Athens is a densely built-up urban sprawl that suffers from a deficit of green space. City planners are looking at ways to create more shade, such as widening pavements and planting more trees.

But that creates some modern dilemmas the ancient Greeks did not have to think about.…  Seguir leyendo »

Geert Jan van Oldenborgh, co-lead of the WWA

When floods swept through parts of China’s Henan province last month, killing at least 302 people, a group of scientists who specialise in analysing the drivers of extreme weather events found themselves unable to help.

Like everyone else, they were horrified by the images of people trapped in water-filled subway stations, as whole blocks of the city of Zhengzhou were flooded by record rainfall.

Their work involves two core questions: did climate change make this disaster more likely? And did it make it worse?

But by the time the storms hit China, the scientists were already fully engaged trying to untangle why the floods in Germany and Belgium earlier in July had been so devastating.…  Seguir leyendo »