Astrid Caldas

Climate scientist

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Astrid Caldas is a climate scientist with the Climate & Energy program at the Union of Concerned Scientists. Her research focuses on climate change adaptation with practical policy implications for ecosystems, the economy, and society. See Astrid's full bio.

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Imagen de satélite de Texas cubierto de nieve/NOAA

El vórtice polar ha matado a 24 en Texas hasta ahora. ¿De quién es la culpa?

Mientras observamos que la mayor parte del país se ve afectada por este vórtice polar, reflexionamos si el cambio climático tiene algo que ver con él y si es más probable que ocurran estos eventos extremos en el futuro. Estamos paralizados ante las imágenes provenientes de Texas, donde el hielo se apoderó de la mayor parte de un estado que no estaba acostumbrado y, ciertamente, no estaba preparado para ello. Escuchamos sobre los cortes de energía, qué los causó (o no) y qué se debe hacer para prepararse para el próximo congelamiento. Sin embargo, cuando pensamos en eso, las perspectivas de las personas que lo están pasando son un componente importante de la historia que hay que contar.

Mi colega Maegan Ramirez es oriunda de El Paso, y tiene mucho que decir sobre la situación en Texas. Supuse que lo oiríamos en su propia voz. Read more >

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Snow covered Texas satellite Feb 15, 2021. NOAA

The Polar Vortex Has Killed 24 in Texas So Far. Who’s to Blame?

As we watch most of the country being taken over by this polar vortex, we ponder whether climate change has anything to do with it, and if these extreme events will be more likely to happen in the future. We are transfixed at images coming from Texas, where the deep freeze took a hold of most of a state not used to it, and certainly not prepared for it. We hear about the energy outages, what caused them (and what didn’t), and what should be done to prepare for the next deep freeze.

However, when we think of that, the perspectives of people who are living through it all are an important component of the story that needs to be told.

My colleague Maegan Ramirez hails from El Paso and had a lot to say about the situation in Texas. I figured we should hear it in her own voice. Read more >

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Mapa muestra fuerza y trayectoria de ciclones tropicales en el 2020. Los azules representan depresiones tropicales, amarillos cruzados con rojo son huracanes, los tonos más oscuros indican mayor fuerza. Fuente y leyenda completa: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:2020_Atlantic_hurricane_season_summary_map.png Master0Garfield, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

La temporada de huracanes de 2020 bate récords en EE.UU. por cantidad de tormentas, intensificación rápida

Hemos llegado al final oficial de la temporada de huracanes, y 2020 será uno para los libros de récords. Mirando hacia atrás a estos últimos seis meses, (siete si se cuenta desde mayo, cuando las primeras tormentas nombradas comenzaron a formarse), hay muchas estadísticas y patrones notables que destacan esta temporada de huracanes y la manera en que el cambio climático puede haber contribuido a su importancia. Read more >

Master0Garfield, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
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Map shows tracks and strength of Atlantic tropical cyclones in 2020. Blues are tropical depressions and tropical storms; yellow through red show hurricanes, darker shades meaning stronger ones. Source and full legend: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:2020_Atlantic_hurricane_season_summary_map.png Master0Garfield, Public domain/Wikimedia Commons

Rapid Intensification and Number of Storms Make 2020 a Record Hurricane Season

As we reach the official end of hurricane season, 2020 will be one for the record books. Looking back at these long, surprising, sometimes downright crazy past six months (seven if you count when the first named storms actually started forming), there are many noteworthy statistics and patterns that drive home the significance of this hurricane season, and the ways climate change may have contributed to it. Read more >

Master0Garfield, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
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Hurricane Dennis/US Navy

Real-Time Lessons on COVID-19 and US Hurricane Response: What We’ve Learned from Hanna and Isaias

This hurricane season is particularly unique in a couple of ways – not only has it had various earliest named storms, but it is happening amidst a pandemic. The novel coronavirus is everywhere in the U.S. and in the world, and to respond to a disaster under the threat of contagion is nothing short of an extraordinary challenge. Read more >

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