Climate change could be Burning Man's ultimate undoing

  • 70,000 Burning Man attendees are trapped at the festival after heavy rainfall muddied the roads.

  • Last year, extreme heat reaching triple digits made the Burning Man festival unbearable for some.

  • As climate change drives more rain and higher global temperatures, the festival may continue to face disaster.

A significant rainfall event has trapped 70,000 people at the annual Burning Man festival in northern Nevada this weekend — an unusual event that means the man might not even burn this year.

A warming climate is likely behind the extreme weather facing Burning Man attendees this year and  last — and as the consequences of climate change worsen, the future prospects of the festival could be in question.

This week's rainfall caused the ground in Nevada's Black Rock Desert — where the festival takes place — to become muddy and nearly impossible to travel on via bike or vehicle. Those escaping on foot are placing trash bags or extra socks over their shoes to avoid mud caking onto their soles.

As climate change continues to affect our planet, it will cause an increase in Nevada's average rainfall and frequency of rainstorms, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

Rain isn't the only obstacle the festival faces. Extreme heat became a crisis for many attendees last year — especially those without air conditioned tents or RVs — as temperatures reached triple digits, Wired reported.

Summer is only getting hotter — a warming climate brought deadly heatwaves across the world this summer, and this July marked the hottest month on global record.


Read the original article on Insider