Aren’t you complaining that this summer is hotter than the previous one? Well! It is not just your vague imagination but a fact. According to a monthly analysis of global temperatures by scientists at NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies (GISS) in New York, May 2018 was the fourth warmest May in 138 years of modern record-keeping.
There are more shreds of evidence that there is an Earth-wide temperature boost. In the recent past 50 years, the surface temperature, ocean heat content, humidity, flooding, drought and intense violent storms have ascended. There is a need for cutting down greenhouse gas emission by approx. 10 billion tons per year by 2030 in order to avoid a 2-degree Celsius increase in temperature.
What and why climate change is happening
When we say climate, we generally refer to three main factors- the solar radiation, change in temperature, and the variable climate based on physical and biological conditions. About 49% of sun’s radiation is absorbed by the earth surface while 20% is absorbed by the atmosphere. The solar radiation warms the earth surface, which in turn radiates it back into space. About 90% of this warmth is consumed by greenhouse gases to maintain normal warming that is just required to sustain lives on our planet.
This means that we need greenhouse gases but the anthropogenic activities such as excessive mining which emits high methane quantity, high emission of carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and chlorofluorocarbons via industries, vehicles, sites, etc. and deforestation which results in lowered amount of oxygen supply in the atmosphere playing tricks in shattering the balance of greenhouse gases. Their damage intensity can be known from the fact the carbon dioxide emergence level has expanded from 250 ppm (parts per million) to 400 ppm over the recent 100 years.
Some Noticeable Effects
All ill-effects of adverse climate change are visible enough to understand how bad the situation is. The way water bodies are being affected due to global warming, they are disturbing the other resources such as health, food supply, industry, transportation and biological integrity, leading to the deadly diseases, both for the human and animal kingdom.
There are tons of incidents around the globe that shows us a real picture of the declining atmosphere
- The intense effect on the agriculture leads to 1.5 percent loss in India’s GDP.
- The weather conditions are declining the production of sustaining crops to 4-9 percent every year.
- Higher levels of CO2 are reducing nutritional values of some crops, causing ill effects on food supply.
- The annual rise in sea level since 1993 is recorded to be 3.39 millimeters.
- Arctic Sea ice is now declining at the rate of 13.2 percent per decade.
What we, as individual & society can do
Firstly, do not wait for some disaster to happen on a large scale. Every small or medium size environmental problem we are facing, as an individual or as a small society must be taken as a high-alert. The concept is to reduce your contribution of adverse carbon print in nature. Few suggestions that one can incorporate in its daily living, can become a combined effort towards fighting against global warming and climate change.
- Lower the burning of Fossil Fuel.
- Reduce the use of individual transportation means. Think of vehicle pooling.
- Stop cutting down trees. Plant a tree wherever possible
- Unplug your devices when they are not in use. This will conserve the energy consumption.
- Upgrade industrial structure and machinery for lower pollution substitutes.
- And most importantly, spread the awareness about climate change, especially in rural areas.
- Read and understand laws like Climate Change Act 2016(Mitigation and Adaptation Framework), Energy Act 2006, National Environmental Policy 2013, National Policy for Disaster Management to keep yourself and others in check.
There was a video from Punjab on a social media platform wherein a charity lunch, the hosts were distributing plant saplings as “Prasad” (Gods blessed food) to the participants. This is a great step towards achieving our green and favorable environment back, for us and for all our future generations to come.