Why we need to worry about Climate Change?
By: Akanksha Dhiman
If I recall a few natural disasters from the past few months only :
- Forest fires in Amazon, Australia, California (much longer and disastrous)
- Covid-19, pandemic
- Melting of glaciers (Chunks of ice in the Antarctic have broken apart.)
- Coral reefs have been bleached of their colours.
- Mosquitoes are expanding their territory, able to spread disease.
It is terrifying, right?
The thing is, even without a complete picture, there is scientific consensus that climate change is happening and is “extremely likely” due to human activities. This consensus has been around for the past 10 years or so and is only growing stronger as technology helps scientists create more accurate models for understanding and predicting planetary shifts.
What is causing climate change?
Causes are both natural and anthropogenic, but anthropogenic changes are disrupting more.
We humans are the ones who burn fossil fuels and chopping down forests, causing average temperatures to rise worldwide. That global warming trend is increasingly disrupting our climate — the average weather over many years.
Earth has already warmed by about 1 degree Celsius, since the 19th century, before the industry started to boom.
A warmer world — even by a half-degree Celsius — has more evaporation, leading to more water in the atmosphere. Such changing conditions put our agriculture, health, water supply and more at risk.
A warming planet means glaciers and permafrost are melting at a high rate. Why does this matter? For one, more water creates more heat in the atmosphere. The melting permafrost releases additional greenhouse gases. As the oceans get hotter, they become more acidic, which harms sea creatures. As Arctic ice disappears, animals that depend on that landscape are becoming endangered. Glacial melting also reduces the world’s supply of freshwater, since they store about 75% of the world’s supply.
There’s also a scientific belief that melting permafrost will release infectious diseases thought long-gone into human populations, threatening human health on a large scale.
IPCC says: “A changing climate leads to changes in the frequency, intensity, spatial extent, duration and timing of extreme weather and climate events, and can result in unprecedented extreme weather and climate events.”
Reasons why we need to worry :
WE ALL NEED CLEAN WATER
-2 in every 3 people worldwide live in regions of severe water. Even a small increase in global temperatures will destabilize the water cycle and could make water scarcity much worse. Climate change affects rainfall patterns, meaning both drought and flooding will be more common, and more intense.
2. WE ALL DESERVE TO BREATHE CLEAN AIR
With anthropogenic climate change driven by human-caused emissions to the atmosphere, it stands to reason that we face compromised air quality. This affects human health, especially children. Air pollution can lead to asthma, heart and lung disease.
3. WE ARE ALL AFFECTED, NO MATTER WHERE IN THE WORLD WE LIVE
Climate change won’t just impact forest, or coral reefs, or even people in far-off countries – it will affect all of us. From more extreme weather to increasing food prices, to recreation and decreased opportunities to appreciate the natural world, people everywhere will feel the effects of climate change.
4. FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS
We are so blessed to be living on such a beautiful planet, but if we look at the conditions and what all is happening, maybe future generations won’t be able to nurture the same.
If you’re feeling worried by now, you’re not alone.
We need to understand our responsibilities and work towards the betterment of our planet. No matter where you live, you will be affected, so start today, your journey towards green life.
WE NEED THE EARTH, EARTH DOESN’T NEED US.
TOGETHER WE CAN.