“The flooding has forced us to redesign routes. We thought it would be for a short period of time, but it has been almost six years.”
— Carlos Avellaneda, manager of a trucking company
While Argentina is often left out of headlines, it is also witnessing the consequences of climate change. Excessive rainfall from severe storms caused major devastating floods around Argentina for more than 10 years like Carlos Avellaneda, an Argentinian truck company manager, experienced and explained in 2006. This issue has only gotten worse since he shared his story. Argentina is marked by flooding, where over 15,000 km of roads have been affected, making it impossible for citizens to cross and continue their normal routes. Shockingly, in Argentina and its neighboring countries, almost 22 million hectares (or 220,000 square kilometers) of land have flooded these last couple of years.
The country has been suffering an upward trend of frequent large disasters arising from natural and weather-related events in particular since the 1950s. These floods and river level rises didn’t just start due to climate change, they also were accentuated with urbanization and population growth over the years. These floodings have gained magnitude and frequency primarily due to climate change factors, causing instability in climate patterns. Some of these climate change factors are the El Niño unusual and magnified heating of the sea and the change of winds and water currencies creating favorable conditions for storms. For many Argentinians like Carlos Avellaneda, these changes disrupt people’s daily routine, economy, and social lives.
Argentina needs comprehensive environmental management and development of an emergency plan to survive the growing climate crisis. The crisis will bring worse exponential consequences to all countries, especially those in more geographically vulnerable regions or with less developed or structured systems like Argentina.