Climate Change, A Global Crisis
Climate change is a worldwide problem caused by natural and human-induced “long-term variations in temperature and weather patterns.” But, you might wonder, why is this important in my life.
Global warming is a result of climate change, in which the average surface temperature of the globe has increased by more than 0.9 degrees Celsius, causing glaciers to melt, sea levels to rise, precipitation patterns to vary, and species to relocate.
Human irresponsibility, such as the burning of harmful fossil fuels that produce heat trapping gases, is endangering our world.
This increases the concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide, compromising environmental safety.
These rapid changes are a global issue, but ‘third world’ countries are the ‘primary target’ due to their poor living infrastructure and lack of financial resources to recover.
Kathmandu, Nepal, is an example of a developing country suffering from immediate climate change, with the global crisis threatening the country’s essentials such as clean air, drinking water, and food supply by affecting mountain ranges such as Mount Everest, resulting in melting glaciers and disruption of river flows.
Mountains like this are known as the world’s “water towers,” as they offer freshwater to half of the world’s population, with Mount Everest alone forming ten major rivers that supply freshwater to 1.3 billion people living within its watershed.
For the most majority of inhabitants, life depends around river flow and the assistance it gives for their primary sources of income: agricultural irrigation, industrial activity, and agriculture.
However, climate change’s side effects, such as retreating glaciers, which cause landslides to become more irregular and increase the frequency of flash floods, are jeopardizing their income.
This mainly happens during the monsoon season, when the rain between June and September refills Nepal’s groundwater while simultaneously causing deadly natural disasters, driving populations to flee the mountainous regions and destroying livelihoods as a result.
Following the monsoon season, people face the opposite extreme during the dry season, when water becomes scarce in the foothills, causing problems in everyday life by forcing women to travel further to collect water for their households, farmers to find crops that use less water, and others to look for alternative job opportunities to make a stable income.
Farmers’ livelihoods are being disturbed as the earth’s temperature rises and the region’s water availability becomes more erratic, leaving them vulnerable to the climate crisis’ repercussions.
But has anything been done to address this environmental problem? Yes. On October 31, 2021, a worldwide event known as the “Glasgow Summit” (a United Nations climate change summit) was place, which has been dubbed the “pivotal point in the fight against climate change.”
The United Nations has been working for nearly three decades to bring world leaders together for the global climate conference, which brought together thousands of negotiators, government representatives, businesses, and individuals to address the urgency of finding effective solutions.
The Glasgow Summit ended with a set of commitments, including a reduction in emissions within this decade, accelerating momentum toward limiting global warming to “well below 2°C” and aiming for the primary goal of 1.5°C, but it failed to provide a solution for the financial strain on developing countries, as wealthy nations are opposed to contributing to the costs of climate change.
The summit was successful in addressing the impact of half a degree on rising sea levels, postponing ecosystem shifts to a new biome, and controlling the deterioration of marine fisheries and coral reefs.
Worldwide leaders, on the other hand, did not commit to the idea to phase out coal, which accounts for 46% of carbon dioxide emissions, and also ignored the decarbonization of the transportation sector, which accounts for 14% of global annual greenhouse gas emissions.
Global Warming To Exacerbate
Only 32 countries, excluding major car manufacturing nations such as China, the United States, Germany, and France, signed a vow to stop selling petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040.
The 2021 climate summit was a watershed moment in the recognition of global warming, but the glacial pace of political action is putting planet Earth in jeopardy and posing a “existential threat to human existence.”
Global warming is expected to worsen in the coming decades, making it one of the most serious challenges of the twenty-first century.
We as humans have a finite amount of time before the effects of climate change become irreversible, so we must do everything we can to mitigate the effects, whether it’s through energy conservation in our homes, the use of environmentally friendly modes of transportation, or raising awareness about this critical issue.
Only then will our planet make headway toward achieving a sustainable environment!
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