According to experts, this was not an accidental calamity, but rather the predicted repercussions of climate change. This has the potential to have much more disastrous implications for the city in the future.
Chicago, one of the largest cities in the United States by population, is threatened with extinction. The most abundant rainfall in the past five years, which scientists associate with climate change, is a danger to the settlement.
It is noted that frequent precipitation and drought provoke sharp fluctuations in the water level of the local river of the same name in Chicago, as well as in Lake Michigan, thereby causing serious damage to the city. Earlier in Chicago, a stormwater system was created in case of flooding. These are sluices that control the water level in the lake and river. However, the rainfall was so heavy that the system did not work.
Last winter, Lake Michigan’s water level hit a record high due to intense rainfall. The waves flooded the local motorway and flooded buildings up to the third floor.
The Chicago River overflowed its banks at the time and triggered a power outage.
“The biggest risk is that these changes in the climate, in hydrology, or the water levels are going to exceed the infrastructure or the capacity of cities, coastlines and homes to handle those changes,” says Drew Gronewold, assistant professor at the University of Michigan’s School of Environment and Sustainable Development.
Moreover, according to him, other cities around the lake are in danger as well. Indeed, a prolonged drought provokes a decrease in the water level in Lake Michigan, on which the water supply of Chicago and the shipping of the entire Midwest of the United States depend, which is of great importance for the economy of the region.
The US Army Corps of Engineers has spent $ 500 million on strengthening the Chicago coastline since last year. Tens of thousands of trees have been planted in the city, as foliage can provide additional protection from heavy rainfall.
In addition, Chicago is calling for a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions, as this is the only real solution to combat global warming at the local level.
“A lot of people look at the Midwest like it’s a safe bet for the future of climate change, but if we’re having this problem, it’s maybe just not as safe a bet as people have been thinking,” says Justin Keller, manager at the Metropolitan Planning Council.
Image Credit: Getty
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