Climate change is being blamed for floods, forest fires and even plague
Extreme floods in Italy, forest fires in Australia and even an outbreak of plague in China this week are all due to climate change.
Venice's Mayor Luigi Brugnaro stated that & # 39; this is the result of climate change & # 39; after the city was destroyed by near-floods on Tuesday.
In Australia, forest fires have killed at least four people and meteorologists say that climate change is the & # 39; frequency and severity & # 39; of the danger.
And in China, the authorities say the population of rodents has increased after drought, causing a rare outbreak of pneumonia.
Submerged: A woman wades through the usually busy St. Mark's Square in Venice after being flooded by three feet of water, submerging the Basilica of St. Mark (behind her)
Venice, a canal city, is particularly vulnerable to rising sea levels, but the plans for a flood defense have been accompanied by rising costs and corruption.
The water reached & # 39; apocalyptic & # 39; this week levels in the city and caused & # 39; widespread destruction & # 39 ;, which caused misery to tourists and locals.
The floods left gondolas in alleys and shops submerged while St. Mark's Square was so flooded that one man even swam over it.
The water levels in Venice reached nearly 6ft 2in, just shorter than the record of 6ft 5in ever in 1966.
The historic Basilica of San Marco was flooded for the sixth time in 1200 years, but the fourth in the last 20.
The Italian environment minister, Sergio Costa, also blamed climate change and the & # 39; tropization & # 39; of heavy rainfall and strong wind.
The government will today declare a state of emergency and & # 39; exceptional powers & # 39; respond to the crisis.
On the other side of the world, parts of Australia have been ravaged by wild fires that experts say are getting worse.
On fire: Australian residents tackle a bushfire in Hillsville, 200 miles north of Sydney, earlier this week amid furious forest fires that have killed at least four people
Parts of New South Wales and Queensland have had to contend with drought, which the Bureau of Meteorology says it is partly driven by warmer sea temperatures.
Air temperatures have also risen, increasing the speed of drought and fires.
Meteorologists say that man-made climate change has the & # 39; frequency and severity & # 39; of dangerous bushfire conditions.
However, the link between climate change and extreme weather conditions has become a matter of political debate in Australia.
The government accepts the need to reduce emissions, but supports the coal industry and warns that tough environmental actions can paralyze the Australian economy.
That contrasts the country with its Pacific island neighbors that are particularly sensitive to warmer temperatures and rising seas.
In China, health officials have reported a rare outbreak of pneumonia after two cases were confirmed in Beijing this week.
Plague: In China, authorities say the rodent population has increased after drought and has caused a rare outbreak of pneumonic plague (the plague-causing bacteria are depicted in a file image)
The two were infected in the Inner Mongolia province, where rodent populations have increased dramatically following persistent drought, aggravated by climate change, state media said.
An area as large as the Netherlands was hit last summer by a & # 39; rat plague & # 39 ;.
Concern about effective action has increased worldwide since US President Donald Trump gave up the Paris international agreement on climate change.
Trump and Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro are among the only leaders in the world who publicly question the science of climate change.
Both have faced devastating fires in their countries – in California and the Amazon basin – that at least partially blame environmentalists for global warming.
The medical journal Lancet published a study this week that stated that climate change was already damaging people's health by increasing the number of extreme weather conditions.
A warmer world entails risks of food shortages, infectious diseases, floods and extreme heat.
If nothing is done, the consequences can burden a whole generation with illness and illness throughout their lives, researchers said.
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