While Canada is well known for its cold temperature and deemed as a country largely spared from the worst sorts of extreme weather, that reputation has now faced unprecedented challenges. The last few decades have brought dangerous changes to the climate of this geographically diverse country, creating adverse weather events with higher intensity and frequency. Lytton, B.C. broke the record for the hottest temperature recorded in Canada in June as heatwaves and wildfires hit Canada's West Coast. The frantic evacuations, wiped-out villages, and tragic casualties have dealt a heavy blow to Canada's most beautiful province, putting climate change to the front and center for all Canadians.
在一连串的热浪袭击了这个距温哥华150公里远的小镇后，利顿终被野火吞噬。小镇在六月份经历了连续三天的加拿大历史最高温天气，气温高达46.6 C, 47.9C, 和 49.6C。令人无法喘息的热浪造成数百人死亡并导致了最为恐怖的气候灾难。在持续不降的高温热浪袭击下，野火腾空而起，数小时内把小镇烧得精光。随之大部分建筑物和房产被烈火夷为平地，惊恐中得居民纷纷仓惶避难逃生。丧失的数百个生命和小镇的烈火遗骸就是加拿大最恶劣的气候给人们带来的灾难和毁灭之活生生的见证。
Lytton, B.C., succumbed to wildfires after a cascade of heat waves hit the valley village 150 kilometers away from Vancouver. In three consecutive days in June, Lytton broke the historical high temperatures recorded in Canada, hitting 46.6 C, 47.9C, and 49.6C, respectively. The insufferable heat has left hundreds of people died and triggered the most devastating climate disaster. Wildfires erupted amidst the intensified temperature spike, engulfing Lytton in flames within hours. Residents run for cover as the fire erased the majority of properties and burned the infrastructure into ashes. The death tragedy and town in ruin have served as vivid evidence of the havoc and destruction caused by Canada's most extreme weather conditions.
It seems perplexing that the extremely high temperatures could hit a valley village at 50 degrees N latitude. But climatologists believe that the Pacific Coast Mountains have played a devil role in creating the historical heatwaves. As the ice melted and the snow disappeared suddenly from the mountain range, temperature from bare soil beneath shot up quickly, soaring at 75% faster than elsewhere. Warmer mountains and severe drought created a vast area of sweltering heat that got trapped under a high-pressure system, and the heat dome blocked the cold air from coming in, thus sending temperatures skyrocketing for days on end.
Meteorologists believe such an intense heat period was unlikely an isolated event but has a climate change footprint all over it. According to climate researchers, the fierce heatwaves would almost certainly not have occurred without global warming. Using decades of observed temperatures, the computer model has determined that the global warming caused by fossil fuel emission was responsible for the Lytton heatwaves and the culprit for the mass casualty event.
Moreover, in the absence of immediate actions to eliminate fossil fuel use and greenhouse emission, the global temperature will continue to rise, turning the deadly heat domes from a rare incident into a norm.
From Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines to severe drought in Honduras, the adverse effects of climate change have severely hampered many developing nations for decades. But the Lytton disaster has brought the devastating impact of global warming close to home, laying bare the shocking reality that the affluent and cold Canada is in a climate emergency. Canada is among the top ten countries in the world most affected by climate change, with the temperature rising twice as the rest of the globe. Apart from the recent catastrophes in B.C., severe weather events caused hundreds of death in 2018 and $2.4 billion insured damages last year alone.
As hundreds of B.C. wildfires continue to ravage the province, the imminent threat of global warming calls for more urgent actions and green-friendly policies from the Canadian government. Addressing climate change will be a prominent issue in the upcoming election, affecting most Canadians' voting choices.
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