Climate extremes hit world’s wealthier places

This summer's extreme weather is hitting places that have been spared from global warming's wrath in the past. They tend to be wealthier places, which typically are better prepared than poor countries.

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World News

August 4, 2021 - 9:17 AM

A demolished train bridge is pictured in Altenburg, Rhineland-Palatinate, western Germany, on Monday, July 19, 2021, after devastating floods hit the region. The German government on July 19, 2021 pledged to improve the country's under-fire warning systems as emergency services continued to search for victims of the worst flooding in living memory, with at least 165 people confirmed dead. Photo by (Christof Stache/AFP/Getty Images/TNS)

As the world staggers through another summer of extreme weather, experts are noticing something different: 2021’s onslaught is hitting harder and in places that have been spared global warming’s wrath in the past. 

Wealthy countries such as the United States, Canada, Germany and Belgium are joining poorer and more vulnerable nations on a growing list of extreme weather events that scientists say have some connection to human-caused climate change.

“It is not only a poor country problem, it’s now very obviously a rich country problem,” said Debby Guha-Sapir, founder of the international disaster database at the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters at Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium. “They (the rich) are getting whacked.”

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