Skip to content
Grist home
Support nonprofit news

Climate Wildfires


Summers keep getting hotter, and the consequences are impossible to miss: In the summer of 2023, the Northern Hemisphere experienced its hottest season in 2,000 years. Canada’s deadliest wildfires on record bathed skylines in smoke from Minnesota to New York. In Texas and Arizona, hundreds of people lost their lives to heat, and in Vermont, flash floods caused damages equivalent to those from a hurricane. 

Forecasts suggest that this year’s upcoming “danger season” has its own catastrophes in store. On May 23, scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced that the 2024 Atlantic hurricane season could be the most prolific yet. A week earlier, they released a seasonal map predicting blistering temperatures across almost the entire country. 

One driving force behind these projections are the alternating Pacific Ocean climate patterns known as El Niño and La Niña, which can create huge shifts in temperature and precipitation across the North and South American continents. After almost a year of El Niño, La Niña is expected to ... Read more

All Stories