Most of us first experience climate change through water.


When we ended this question, I saw a video on Twitter showing a flooded highway outside Vancouver. It is not unique. The densely populated downtown of British Columbia was cut off from the rest of Canada by floods and mudslides after an atmospheric river crossed it. The country’s busiest ports were unable to use rail services and containers were stranded. Hundreds of drivers had to take military helicopters to be rescued from the highway separated by a slide. The only way to reach other parts of the country by road is to bypass the United States.

The flood occurred after a hot and dry summer, and many cities throughout the region have experienced long-term temperature records because the hot dome enveloped most of the Pacific Northwest. By the end of August, drought occurred in the whole province. Vancouver Island is home to the ancient temperate rainforest, which has reached the worst level 5 drought conditions in British Columbia. Hundreds of wildfires covered the area with ashes, and the city itself was choked with smoke. The scorched landscape left by the drought in summer made the autumn flood worse. Watching a video of a highway covered in brown muddy water, it suddenly occurred to me that I was watching a tragic epitome of the premise of this problem: the way many of us first experience climate change will be through water-either too much of it or not enough . We will flood. Or burn it. Or both. This issue brings you stories about how the water cycle changes as we begin to experience climate change.


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