Global warming affects all of us in many ways, sasi kumar

This is called a “thermal apocalypse”. This is making life difficult for hundreds of millions of people in the United States and Europe as the extreme heat wave pushes the temperature above 40 degrees Celsius. This type of extreme weather event has been escalating and endangering lives on our planet for years.

2021 has had its share of extreme weather conditions

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in the United States found that global temperatures (sea and surface) in 2021 were the sixth warmest on record.

In June and July last year, what climatologists called a “heat dome” enveloped British Columbia (Canada) and the record high temperatures that followed killed around 600 people. This has been recorded as one of the extreme weather conditions caused by climate change. Wildfires have swept through the small town of Lytton in southern British Columbia, Canada, destroying everything in their path. The highest temperature recorded at that time was 49.6 degrees Celsius. This heat anomaly also affected neighboring provinces of Canada and extended to the Pacific Northwest of the United States.

According to resources from Yale Climate Connections (a non-partisan group), in 2021 we experienced extreme heat waves, Hurricane Ida, catastrophic summer flooding in Europe and China, the coldest winter phenomenon in the south and the hottest summer temperatures in the northwestern regions of the United States. The record temperature on the island of Sicily and the unprecedented first rainfall on the snow-capped mountains of Greenland are examples of extreme weather activities.

Scientists have long known about the effects of heat-trapping gases such as carbon dioxide, methane, fluorinated gases and nitrous oxide in the atmosphere. The burning of fossil fuels, the clear cutting of forests for agriculture, industrial meat production (factory farming) and other industrial developments produce greenhouse gases that warm the earth. Greenhouse gases can take years to dissipate from the atmosphere, making the planet constantly warmer.

Whether or not we believe in the phenomenon of global warming and associated anomalies, be prepared for continued extreme weather events that affect our lives. For climate change deniers and skeptics, it may be difficult to accept that climate change is the product of human activities.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), farm animals contribute substantially to water, land and air pollution that impacts our environment. . The Pesticide Action Network (PAN) North America claims that global agricultural and related industries emit approximately one-third of global greenhouse gases. Thus, researchers and scientists have gathered substantial data to show that human activity is the main cause of climate change. Global warming is the cause of the extreme weather events we have experienced in the past.

Disastrous weather continues in 2022

Weather disasters did not stop in 2021, they are continuing into 2022. Major weather aberrations are happening around the world right now. According to various reports, the following major climatic events occurred during the first half of the year.

In January 2022, a winter storm named Izzy brought parts of the United States to a standstill. A snowstorm named Malik and Storm Nadia with its hurricane force winds were responsible for major damage in Northern Europe and England. And torrential rains in parts of Malaysia in January caused massive flooding. In February, unusual winter conditions produced snow, sleet and sub-zero temperatures in the northeastern United States. Again, severe weather events have been reported all over the world; Cyclone Gombe in Mozambique, Tropical Storm Megi in the Philippines, and heat waves in Antarctica and India.

2022 March was the hottest month on record for India. Floods in northwest India and Bangladesh and unusual weather patterns in Kerala state were caused by remarkably heavy rainfall that displaced around four million people. Looks like they could be precursors to our future weather patterns. Recently, the US state of Kentucky experienced heavy downpours and flash floods that left behind a trail of death and devastation. Wildfires, floods and heat waves are causing widespread destruction around the world.

Will the global climate improve in the future?

Antonio Guterres, the UN Secretary General, says: “Time is running out to avoid the worst impacts of climate change and protect our societies from the inevitable impacts to come.

Scientists at the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii have been measuring and compiling data on CO2 in the atmosphere for a long time. Their research shows that greenhouse gas emissions have been increasing since 1965, leading to increases in land temperature, precipitation, sea levels and extreme weather events.

Experts believe that weather calamities are not a one-time event and will continue. Our planet and its occupants are affected by the abnormally altered climate by none other than us humans. Melting glaciers, cyclones, hurricanes, monsoon floods, landslides, dangerous lightning, volcanic eruptions and extreme cold and heat events will continue. These wild climatic fluctuations are disastrous for all living beings and their habitats.

Climate change harms our health

Extreme climate change affects our environment, our habitats and our health. The impact on human lives will be in the form of malnutrition, air- and water-borne diseases, and heat-related illnesses, thus increasing death and destruction and thus accumulating exponential health costs. .

A woman participates in a climate strike to protest government inaction on climate breakdown and environmental pollution in Mumbai | File photo (AFP)

Researchers have established definite correlations between climate change and human health. Extreme heat waves, devastating wildfires, floods, storm surges, rising sea levels and sea temperatures create damaging weather events that make our lives difficult on this planet. Climate change has been shown to affect anything and everything that sustains life on this planet. Climate change affects our physical and mental health, our well-being, and where and how we live. Climate affects our livelihoods, health, life expectancy and behaviors and as the climate continues to change, the risks to human health continue to increase.

The future looks bright…

The UN says our world is getting warmer, already 1.1 degrees Celsius warmer, and expected to reach 4 degrees Celsius by the end of the century. Such a scenario would be catastrophic for everything on this planet. Extreme weather events always threaten our physical, emotional and mental well-being. Every aspect of our lives, animals, plants and the whole ecosystem is threatened by extreme climate change.

The UN recommends limiting the global temperature increase to 1.5°C to prevent death and disease linked to climate change. Thus, controlling and reducing greenhouse gas emissions can improve our environment and improve the health and well-being of everyone on this planet.

Scientists believe that climate change is a reversible and slow process, thus slowing down the phenomenon of global warming. Humans have caused climate change by releasing greenhouse gases carelessly. They believe it is possible to slow or reverse the process of global warming by reducing emissions of carbon and other greenhouse gases. The process requires concerted and rational actions by nations and indigenous people to control global warming.

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Teresa H. Sadler