Autumn in Finland

Sadakat Kadri, 28 October 2022

The urban woodlands of northern Helsinki looked almost fiery under the low September sun. According to Juha Aalto of the Finnish Meteorological Institute, however, deforestation is accelerating, biodiversity is declining and the land sector in 2021 for the first time emitted more carbon dioxide than it absorbed.

The Forests in Palawan

Simone Scriven, 14 October 2022

Forests help both to prevent and protect against typhoons, through carbon sequestering, wind buffering and landslide fixing.

The Diminishing Aquifer in the Northern Drôme

Fernanda Eberstadt, 30 September 2022

Water – steady rainfall, snowmelt from the Alps – is one reason the northern Drôme has been good agricultural land. But now the wells, springs and rivers are running dry. 

The Floods in Seoul

Krys Lee, 16 September 2022

On 8 August, in the middle of the busiest holiday period of the year, when people normally escape to the beaches and mountains to get away from the oppressive heat, the rain came down so heavily that the view through our car windscreen was like the white noise of poor television reception. 

The Rain in Lagos

Adéwálé Májà-Pearce, 26 August 2022

Here in Lagos we are approaching the end of the so-called rainy season (as opposed to the so-called dry season). So-called because why include the word ‘season’ in the first place? Nobody says the ‘winter season’ or the ‘summer season’ but we’ve given up on our indigenous languages in favour of the English that colonised us and so rainy season it is.

The Sandstorms in Beijing

Mimi Jiang, 12 August 2022

One year the sandstorm was so thick it painted the sky orange. Even if you sealed all the windows, the next day your tables and floors would be covered by sand. The spring wind blows it in from the Gobi Desert. The smog, by contrast, has many culprits: fossil fuels, coal, heavy industry, too many cars. People in Beijing hate the wind for bringing the sand but love it for blowing the smog away.

The Heat Wave in Northern India

Skye Arundhati Thomas, 29 July 2022

In May 2022 temperatures in Northern India hit 49°C. The Indian Meteorological Department declared it a ‘heat wave’ and in a heat wave, public infrastructure begins to fail: pavements buckle, railway tracks warp, and electrical grids are strained by increased use of air conditioning. Fires start in dry fields. Industrial plants require more water for their cooling systems, straining already reduced supplies. Crops are ravaged. A heat wave is also a national health emergency. At a wet-bulb temperature of 35°C – that is, the equivalent of 35°C and 100 per cent humidity – the human body can no longer cool itself by sweating. You overheat and die within hours. Throughout May, regions across India saw consistent wet-bulb temperatures between 25 and 33°C.

The Lightning in Johannesburg

Rosa Lyster, 15 July 2022

I grew up being told that Johannesburg was ‘the lightning capital of the world’. We believed that people came from all over the world to study it, sitting on the terrace of the hotel that overlooks the Johannesburg Zoo, close enough to see the elephants and hear the lions, and watching as the white bolts tore up the sky during the afternoon storms in summer.

The Weather in Istanbul

Izzy Finkel, 1 July 2022

I have watched tornados whip at the waters of the Golden Horn like a hose (which is what, in Turkish, they are called). Last summer, gloopy marine mucilage or sea snot bloomed across the Sea of Marmara, around which a third of Turkey’s economic activity and as many of its people are based. Like an oil spill, it suffocated marine life and hemmed Istanbulites in at the shoreline where normally they would go to look out.