Climate Change – a looming threat

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Climate change refers to a change in the average weather conditions of a place. It is one of the biggest crisis that humanity is facing right now.  In 2019, around 11,000 scientists declared a global climate emergency and warned of the dangers to come. Countries across the globe are grappling with the severe effects that reflect the state of the planet. The impact of climate change is intensifying and poses a threat to life on Earth as we know it. The Earth has become warmer than the previous century, and CO2 levels in the atmosphere have risen by 50%. 

Human actions have influenced the rapid climate change we are experiencing today. Cutting trees, burning coal, oil, and gas contribute to an increase in global warming. These activities have led to a drastic increase in CO2 levels in the atmosphere, which traps more heat. According to the 2018 US National Climate Assessment, the emission of greenhouse gases has been the dominant cause of global warming since the mid 20th century. Thus, 97% of scientists agree that human activity is the primary cause of the present climate scenario. 

Humans have exploited nature for the longest time, and we’re facing devastating consequences. Climate change and extreme weather conditions have led to natural disasters on a large scale, leading to the massive loss of life and property. The past few years have proven that climate change is real, as the world woke up to devastating headlines of forest fires, hurricanes, heatwaves, floods, droughts, and storms ravaging countries around the globe. 

IPCC Report:

The Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) of the United Nations recently released the 2021 Climate Report that raised concerns about the climate of the Earth. The report is based on more than 14,000 scientific studies and presents the most comprehensive state of climate change and its impacts. Within the next two decades, the average temperature of the Earth will increase by 1.5 degrees celsius. This increase will lead to extreme weather events. Heatwaves, droughts, floods, and wildfires will occur frequently. The sea levels will rise due to the warming of oceans and melting of glaciers, which pose a threat for the cities along India’s coastline, which are vulnerable to the rising sea levels. All these changes will affect livelihoods, agriculture, and the ecosystem drastically.

Impact:

If the temperature of the planet goes on increasing, weather-related events will become more frequent and dangerous. According to the World Health Organization, climate change will contribute to approximately 250,000 deaths per year due to malnutrition, malaria, diarrhea, and heat-related stress. A new study by scientists from China, Europe, and the US has found that within just 50 years, climate conditions in India could become unlivable, with temperatures as high as the Sahara Desert if the emissions of greenhouse gases continue to rise at the current pace. Scientists predict that we could lose 550 species by the end of this century, and this is only the tip of the iceberg. People living in developing and third world countries will be the most impacted and will face a hard time coping with the consequences of climate change. India is among 11 countries declared as “highly vulnerable” by US Intelligence Agencies to prepare and respond to the climate crisis.

Photo by Markus Spiske on Pexels.com

What we can do:

Governments and corporations cannot tackle climate change alone without the collective help of the people. People have to do their bit and can contribute in their ways to help save the planet. Small daily efforts can help create an impact. The following are some ways in which we can help:

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle 

Consume less meat

Reduce the use of plastic 

Take fewer flights 

Walk and cycle more 

Carry your own shopping bag 

Plant trees and create green spaces

Embrace slow fashion

Compost 

Reduce consumption and wastage 

Spread awareness 

Climate change is a threat to humanity and is a serious issue that needs to be tackled. The present generation is experiencing an overwhelming sense of dread and climate anxiety regarding the future. The Covid19 pandemic provided some climate relief, but that is only temporary. We are running out of time to salvage the planet and its inhabitants, and it is time for governments, corporations, and individuals to step up their climate action to match the scale of the task ahead of us.

Climate change the greatest threat

Drought and Climate Change | Union of Concerned Scientists

Every other year we face various challenges due to climatic change. The human community is not the only living thing who are facing the problem rather, each and every living organism in the planet is affected due to the climate change. Some scientists have claimed that climate change was first noticed in 19th century when natural green house effect was first identified. Thomas edison was the one who initially voiced concern for climate change and spread awareness for renewable energy. Since that day many people and organisation came forward to promote renewable energy and various steps to reduce the rate at which the climate is changing.

The biggest threat of climate change is global warming. climate change leads to global warming and everybody knows about it but how does it actually affect our planet ? Well the global warming increases the average temperature of the earth due to which the glacier sheets melt and end up increasing the sea level which can submerge majority of the land and it will not only affect the human habitation but also affect the animals life as some animals do not have the capability to handle high temperature.

It can affect the economy as well, as the change in climate might result in droughts and can affect the cultivation of crops which will affect almost every human from every background. Due to climate change many natural resources are also depleting due to which the price of such resources are touching skies and it might become almost impossible for any normal human to afford it. Also pollution is another reason which is affecting the health, not only of humans but also of animals and plants. And who do you think is responsible for this ? obviously we humans are behind this destruction and only we have the power to stop this. Governments can only talk about the possible solutions and it’s implementations but it lies in our hand whether we are implementing right steps to reduce climate change or not. Atleast we are able to raise our voice against it but think about the poor animals who are suffering because of our deeds and can’t even fight for their rights to live in a healthy environment. So next time when you throw a plastic search for a dustbin first. I know such acts won’t have an immediate impact on environment but it really does have long term positive impact on environment.

Climate Change

The phenomenon of rising temperatures of the Earth resulting in change of climate, seasons, rainfall patterns etc. is called Global warming. Global warming and its effects are together referred to as Climate Change. While these changes have been seen before but the rate of change has increased rapidly from the middle of the 20th century. Findings from different recognized scientific organizations support these claims. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), “human influence on climate has been the dominant cause of observed warming since the mid-20th century”. The emission of greenhouse gases as a result of human activities have been one of the largest causes for this. Fossil fuels, Chloro-fluro carbons (CFCs), deforestation, rise in different forms of pollution are all behind this.

Photo by Markus Spiske on Pexels.com

Temperature change is also accompanied by loss of snow cover, melting permafrost, frequent natural disasters like cyclones. Land surfaces heat more quickly which have resulted in heat waves, forest fires, increase in desert area. These temperature changes are the highest in the Arctic region. Changes in environmental conditions have led to extinction of several wildlife species in forests, coral reefs etc. Rising carbon dioxide emissions lead to rising sea levels, ocean temperatures and ocean acidification. These changes bring in frequent droughts, extreme weather conditions affecting the equilibrium and natural balance.

Photo by Markus Spiske on Pexels.com

Almost all countries have come together for climate change under the umbrella of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The convention aims to “prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system”. It has instructed policy makers that there is much greater risk to human and natural systems if the warming goes above 1.5 °C compared to pre-industrial levels. Under the Paris Agreement, nations have made climate pledges to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, but even after following those, global warming would still reach about 2.8 °C by 2100. To prevent this from happening and limit the warming to 1.5 °C, methane emissions need to decrease to near-zero levels and carbon dioxide emissions should reach net-zero by the year 2050.

Governments should act immediately and policies should be constructed to reduce fossil fuel emissions, increase reforestation, forest prevention, use of low carbon energy technologies, food preservation. All societies should work together towards dealing with future global warming problems in a scientific way. Development of more resistant crops, better disaster management should also be considered.

Several international movements have taken place like Fridays For Future where school students take time off from school to aware people and demand climate change action from governments. They demand action from political leaders of the world for the fossil fuel industry to convert to renewable energy and take immediate measures for climate change. This movement was publicised after Greta Thunberg started a protest outside the Swedish parliament with a poster saying “School strike for climate”. She is an environmental activist who has spoken at several internationally recognised platforms. She started her journey as an activist from the time when she had convinced her parents to change their lifestyle for reducing their carbon footprint. She is known for her straight forward manner of speaking at public platforms and criticizing world leaders for their failure to address climate change. She has participated in the United Nations Climate Change Conference (2018) and UN Climate Action Summit (2019). She has also got several awards and made it into the Forbes list of The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women (2019). Though her popularity at such a young age has made her a target of critics, but she continues to work and struggle towards her goal with indomitable spirit.