Science Talk: Climate X factor

Lake Michigan frozen over last week in Chicago, Illinois. Tens of millions of Americans braved Arctic-like temperatures as low as minus 49 deg C, which paralysed the US Midwest.
Lake Michigan frozen over last week in Chicago, Illinois. Tens of millions of Americans braved Arctic-like temperatures as low as minus 49 deg C, which paralysed the US Midwest.PHOTO: EPA-EFE
A green rosella and a wallaby at a water bowl put out for wild animals in Tasmania. Australia had its hottest January on record last month.
A green rosella and a wallaby at a water bowl put out for wild animals in Tasmania. Australia had its hottest January on record last month.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

Arctic-like cold in US, heatwave in Australia: Humanity must face up to existential threat

The X factor is that undefinable something that makes an individual or a phenomenon stand out.

The start of this year has been marked by climate X factors, including staggering Arctic-like temperatures in the mid-latitudes, sweltering heat in Australia and record-breaking rainfall.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 09, 2019, with the headline 'Climate X factor'. Print Edition | Subscribe