I am still under the influence of the upsetting news about Climate Change that I had read the previous morning on https://www.dhyeyaias.com. It said - “Scientists have found evidence that frozen methane deposits in the Arctic Ocean – known as the “sleeping giants of the carbon cycle” – have started to be released over a large area of the continental slope off the East Siberian coast. High levels of the potent greenhouse gas have been detected down to a depth of 350 metres in the Laptev Sea near Russia, prompting concern among researchers that a new climate feedback loop may have been triggered that could accelerate the pace of global heating. The discovery of potentially destabilised slope frozen methane raises concerns that a new tipping point has been reached that could increase the speed of global heating.”
And this is, by all account, not the only gravest thing. The world is witnessing floods, storms, heat and whatnot. Human-instigated pollution is bringing about a climate change which is probably going to increase if we do not take actions now. Myriad other factors are giving rise to global warming, which in turn cause shifts in climate. The situation is alarming. For those of you who are still oblivious of what’s happening around on a broader level, here’s a tad bit about it :
What is Climate Change?
According to Wikipedia, Climate change includes both the global warming driven by human emissions of greenhouse gases and the resulting large-scale shifts in weather patterns. Though there have been previous periods of climatic change, since the mid-20th century, the rate of human impact on Earth's climate system and the global scale of that impact has been unprecedented.
Climate Change Consensus?
Now, there are three kinds of people —
1: Those who do NOT believe that there is any such thing as climate change;
2: Those who think that climate change is natural and there is no reason why humans ought to be accused of the same;
3: Those who think that climate change is a direct result of harsh human activities.
I fall in the third category. To the people who fall under the first category, I would say,
“Climate Change is real.” To those under the second, “ For once, hold yourselves responsible.”
Yet, to consider yourself responsible, you need to know some basic Climate Change facts:
CO2, which is one of the Greenhouse Gases, can fluctuate temperatures in the atmosphere as a result of its excessive concentration. This prompts Global Warming. Industries, Agriculture, and manufacturing activities around the world cause CO2 levels to rise. Forest fires and Fossil fuels are significant wellsprings of CO2. As indicated by one of the articles in Investopedia, the portion of CO2 emissions by the country is :
China (28%) Rest of the World (23%) United States (15%) India (7%) Russia (5%) Japan (3%) Germany (2%) Iran (2%) South Korea (2%) Saudi Arabia (2%) Indonesia (2%) Canada (2%) Mexico (1%) South Africa (1%) Brazil (1%) Turkey (1%) Australia (1%) United Kingdom (1%) Poland (1%)
The Earth is getting warmer each year since 1977. Not only that, our oceans are becoming more acidic because of increased carbon dioxide levels. This affects the mineral balance in the water, which makes it difficult for marine animals to survive. Researchers have estimated that the oceans are home to up to 1 million different species. Besides, living oceans are a prerequisite to human existence. The Arctic, being the prominent hot spot for the climate shift effects, calls out loud to humans to reverse the effects as soon as possible.
According to NASA, Climate extremes, such as droughts, floods and extreme temperatures, can lead to crop losses and threaten the livelihoods of agricultural producers and the food security of communities worldwide. Depending on the crop and ecosystem, weeds, pests, and fungi can also thrive under warmer temperatures, wetter climates, and increased CO2 levels, and climate change will likely increase weeds and pests.
What are the Climate Change trends per decade?
According to the NOAA 2019 Global Climate Summary, the combined land and ocean temperature has increased at an average rate of 0.07°C (0.13°F) per decade since 1880. Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere rose by about 25 parts per million.
Are humans responsible?
In its 2013 fifth assessment report, the IPCC stated in its summary for policymakers that it is “extremely likely that more than half of the observed increase in global average surface temperature” from 1951 to 2010 was caused by human activity. By “extremely likely”, it meant that there was between 95% and 100% probability that more than half of modern warming was due to humans. NASA’s Dr Gavin Schmidt has pointed out, the IPCC’s implied best guess was that humans were responsible for around 110% of observed warming (ranging from 72% to 146%), with natural factors in isolation leading to a slight cooling over the past 50 years.
More than 90% of the climate scientists second that. I, for one, second that. This is the elephant in the room...and, it needs to be addressed before we face our doom.