UN report on Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis approved by Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) directs everyone’s attention towards a fast-paced journey of climate change towards irreversible status. The report provides new assessments of climate change that now looks more like a climate emergency. It has become the new ‘code red for humanity’. Much other evidence points out the impending doom on humanity – that is the climate crisis.
Climate Change is Here
Climate change is not a national but a global crisis. The increasing number of wildfires across the world just in 2021 should be an eye-opener. Turkey, Greece, California, Italy, and Spain are among many countries that have faced bouts of large wildfires recently, in more than one place. Similarly, the last couple of years have faced more floods than in the last decade. Winters are also progressing towards the extremity. These are all the effects of climate change that the world has started to face.
Climate change is not coming, it is here.
The effects of climate change are not particular to a specific region. The world we live in shares the same environment and land. No matter you live in the North or South, you will face effects of the climate change. Therefore, it is a matter of concern for all.
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Fast-Paced Global Warming
Since the 19th century, the average rise in temperature was recorded to be 1ºC mostly marked by the huge shift in industrialization and emission of carbon into the environment. It is estimated that the global warming level will increase to 1.5º C or 2º C in the next decade. This means a global rise in temperature to 1.5º C or 2º C that ultimately leads to hotter and extended summers days even more than now. The rapid temperature rise has occurred in the last 40 years where 2016 and 2020 faced the hottest years recorded. Considering the environmental conditions and rising global temperature, global warming is estimated to increase if correct measures are not taken immediately.
Humans do not have time to think or debate about climate change at the moment. Something must be done to curb the worsening global warming conditions.
The fast-paced global warming is evident from various adverse effects that our planet is facing. Melting glacier caps, rising ocean water temperature, annual heat strokes, wildfires, etc. are some of the highlights of the past couple of years. These changes are interlinked and affect the overall quality of life on the planet.
Wildfires further increase the temperature of the environment and release carbon in the atmosphere that accelerates the greenhouse effect and ozone layer depletion. These wildfires destroy flora and fauna and destroy the habitat of wildlife. As a result, the whole ecosystem is destroyed. Similarly, an increase in oceanic temperature can disturb the habitat resulting in mass level migration and extinction of marine life. Consequently, it creates a food and water emergency for humans as well.
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Is Climate Change Real?
Despite all the evidence scientists provide every year, people are still doubtful of the reality of climate change. The rising concerns of scientists and governments to curb climate change and reverse its effects are a proof of looming climate crisis. Here are some facts that point out the intensity of global crisis marked by rapid climate change:
- Disturbed water cycle: The global temperature rise has resulted in a rapid water cycle. This results in heavy rainfall causing floods in many areas of the world. South Korea, China, India, Pakistan, the US, Germany, and many countries have faced intense flooding in the past 2-3 years.
- Extreme winter is also a result of climate change. The greenhouse gases that are meant to store the heat of the sun and reflect it throughout the year – including winters to maintain a certain temperature – are starting to lose the cycle. Due to the imbalance of gases in the atmosphere, marked by a large amount of carbon dioxide emission, the atmosphere is unable to retain heat and reflects most of the heat in summers. This leaves less than the required amount of heat to be reflected in winters, resulting in colder winters.
- Melting glaciers and snowcaps is a threat to natural habitat and impending water crisis in summers for the world. Icecaps are melting at a much faster rate, worrying scientists about the balance and maintainence of the atmosphere in coming years. NASA reports that around 279 billion tons of ice have melted from 1993 to 2019. Satellite view also shows decreased snow covers in the Northern Hemisphere in the last five years.
- Scientists are fearing water shortage in many parts of the world in the future. This water shortage will cause food shortages as a result of drought and famine. Not only the planet is in danger but human lives will suffer too.
- Scientists report a new high record of carbon dioxide emission of 59.1 gigatons and it is expected that the CO2 emision will increase upto gigatons till 2030. This indicates an impending pandemic of climate change after the current coronavirus pandemic.
These are some of the worse effects of climate change that humans have seen through their naked eyes. Other secondary effects like mass immigration, imbalance in population density, wars in search of land that can produce food for humans, etc. will be next in line.
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All the evidence points out the looming crisis of climate change that may change the face of humanity in the future, if not dealt with correctly. It is time to take action on a collective level by the governments and individual level. The coming eight to ten years hold significance in terms of reversing climate change damage on the planet. Consistent and sincere efforts are needed to reverse these damages to get the planet back on the right track. Not doing anything in these years will only result in the doom of humanity.
“I hope that this can be a wake-up call, in every possible way,” – Greta Thunberg, a climate activist.