Nature’s changing colors makes climate change visible
Following days of torrential rain, more than a dozen rivers in Vermont overflowed in early July, causing catastrophic flooding. Some parts of Vermont saw up to 23 centimeters of rain, or 9 inches, an amount exceeding even the rainfalls from Hurricane Irene in 2011. Once considered 1-in-100-year events, such floods are set to become more frequent as climate change warms the region, scientists say. That’s because warmer air can hold more moisture.
This time, my hometown of Burlington was largely spared. But Lake Champlain, which runs the length of the city, was not. As the water from the Winooski — a 145-kilometer river that swamped the state capital, Montpelier — flows into the lake near where I live, so too does the garbage, gasoline and other pollutants that it swallowed up.