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The Environment

People living in British Columbia will feel like they have had more than their fair share of climate disasters in 2021. After a record-breaking heatwave in June, the state in western Canada has been inundated by intense rainstorms in November. It’s also likely the long-lasting effects of the heatwave made the results of the recent rainfall worse, causing more landslides – which have destroyed highways and railroads – than would otherwise have happened.

In June 2021, temperature records across western North America were shattered. The town of Lytton in British Columbia registered 121 degrees Fahrenheit, breaking the previous Canadian national record by 5°C. The unprecedented weather was caused by a high-pressure system, a so-called “heat dome”, which sat over the region for several days.

Heat intensified within the dome as the high pressure compressed the air. Dry ground conditions forced temperatures even higher, as there was less water evaporating to cool things down. Although unconfirmed, it’s estimated that the heatwave caused over 400 deaths in British Columbia alone. Read on.