Climate change renders an influence over each and every one of us. It is irrespective of the part of the world one resides in.
Heatwaves and coastal flooding have scientifically been found to have a direct connection with climate change. While we have to deal with the hazardous effects of climate change, we would automatically desire that our children and grandchildren would not have to put up with them.
But in reality climate change affects every moment of our existence, and fighting climate change presently comes by as a necessity.
Ways in which climate change has transformed our lives
- Greenhouse gases leading to climate change adversely affect our health as well
Fossil fuels account for the greenhouse effect, wherein excess amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere trap heat and increase the average temperatures.
Burning fossil fuels causes the greenhouse effect. But their effects go beyond. Excessive emission of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane result in a higher occurrence of respiratory disorders, which may be more intense in numerous cases. Some such disorder is asthma and heat strokes.
Climate change is hence no longer an environmental issue alone. It has a direct implication over health and well being of humans. The need of the hour is to gain a deeper understanding of health implications that come by as a part and parcel of climate change.
- Rising sea levels render a number of negative implications for mankind
When warming of the earth melts glacier ice caps, sea levels go higher. It is a gradual process. Since 1900s, sea levels have gone up by 7 to 8 inches on an average. This renders an impact over the intensity of flooding. Each year, the sea levels further increase by .13 inches.
Contamination of agricultural soil, wetland flooding, and destructive erosion are some of the consequences of rising sea levels.
Excess atmospheric CO2 reduces nutritional value of fruits and vegetables
Climate change renders its effects over food as well. Excessive percentage of CO2 in the atmosphere changes the composition of fruits and vegetables that we consume. Their nutritional value reduces.
CO2 speeds up the process of photosynthesis. Hence, the plants grow with more sugar and less important vitamins, zinc, protein and calcium. As a result, nutritional deficiencies such as zinc and protein deficiencies come by as a more pronounced matter.
And there’s more…
- Longer wildfire seasons and an expanding territory for mosquitoes, boosting their ability to spread disorders.
- With deforestation and burning fossil fuels, temperatures are likely to increase by 1.5oC globally, by 2030. This temperature increase is a significant development, because it puts water supply, health and agriculture at even more risk.
- Evaporation of water and warmer oceans would result in intense rainfall at places where it is not called for. It would render agricultural land infertile.
- Flooding and damaging of crops would would be more commonplace as well. Since 1900, the world has heated up by 1o. Correspondingly, flooding of crops is a more commonplace occurrence nowadays compared to what it used to be half a century back.
- A snow covered mountain peaks melt, they would no longer be a sustainable source of fresh water and hydropower. This renders a direct effect over millions of people.
How would the world transform upon countering climate change?
- Even if carbon emissions reduce to zero by tomorrow, effects of climate change would still be visible for centuries. Emissions aren’t going to stop. Still, climate change would become more manageable.
- Without climate change, extreme hazards would be lower in number, making the world a better place to live in. Draughts would reduce, as even a minute degree of climate change strains water resources.
- Temperatures across the world would be closer to what we consider to be normal. One the other hand, if climate change goes unchecked, summers would be hotter.
- Half of the coral reefs are threatened even if we check climate change. If unchecked, climate change will destroy all coral reef habitats.
- Checking climate change will work well for marine life as well. Oceans absorb carbon in the atmosphere and become acidic. When they absorb less carbon with us keeping a check over climate change, they would not be much acidic. So, marine life will thieve and fewer species will go extinct. Hence the ecological balance and biodiversity of the earth will be maintained, and it augurs well for us in turn.
- Without global warming, coastal areas would not be flooding as often. This may be an answer to the migration crisis of the world. It prevents migration of people across the years to come. Similarly, coastal areas are often hubs of urbanization. The factor would stay the same if climate change is checked.
- Countering climate change works well for our health. To start with, we would not be required to put up with severe heatwaves and downpours. Then as a secondary effect, effect of mosquitoes and epidemics will be less pronounced. As mosquitoes are countered, infections would become more manageable as well.
- We would also be able to counter resource conflicts, such as water
A hundred years down the line, we’d find that acting on climate change would save millions of lives. Countering and acting upon climate change is no longer optional. It comes by as a must for communities, governments and individuals. It’s time to get all geared up to act upon climate change.