Mother Nature reminded the world who’s boss in 2010. From devastating killer earthquakes to menacing volcanoes and ever-frightening tsunamis, her wrath was widespread and powerful. When it came to the weather, relentless, unstoppable extremes wrecked havoc everywhere. Thousands of people lost their lives and millions more were left homeless and out of work. Among this year’s worst weather disasters were: a millennium-record heat wave and massive wildfire in Russia; the worst monsoonal flooding in Pakistan’s history; rain-induced landslides and the worst floods in decades in China; severe drought in sub-Saharan Africa and the Amazon basin; and the calving of the largest iceberg in nearly 50 years in Greenland. Unbelievably, these weather events all happened over a one-month period!
Canadians were left in awe of the power and force of Nature, but also quietly thankful for living in a country that – while not immune from Nature’s wrath – remains fairly unscathed and slightly off her radar. Complaints about frostbite, humidity, potholes, slush and brownouts seemed to pale in comparison to the deadly weather outside our borders. However, with or without climate change, weather extremes are becoming increasingly catastrophic for modern society as a whole.