I was deeply saddened to learn of the devastation and loss of life caused by Super Typhoon Haiyan as it barreled through the Philippines [“ ‘Super typhoon’ rips through Philippines with monster winds,” news, Nov. 9]. Haiyan is reported to have been one of the most powerful storms in history, and it joins the ranks of extreme natural disasters such as Superstorm Sandy in 2012, the 2013 wildfire season in the western United States and the all-time high summer temperatures recorded this year from Shanghai to Siberia.

While no single storm can ever be definitively connected to global warming, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has warned that we face a future of increasingly severe and erratic weather events due to anthropogenic contributions to atmospheric greenhouse gases.

While it is still desperately important that we take steps as a nation and a world to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, we must also actively prepare for the impacts of a warmer world that are no longer avoidable. If we do not respond, the toll will be taken in human livelihoods, health and even lives. 

Katherine Diersen, Washington