With the global pandemic taking stage, the world seems to have forgotten about the problem that is slowly looming over us — climate change. We might wonder what a few degrees warmer is; It just means sunnier days, right?
If it were that simple, biologists and scientists would not be imploring us to heed to nature’s cry. Climate change is the change in the average conditions of oceans, rainfall, glaciers, and weather patterns.
Sadly, the main contributor to climate change is humanity. Man has become extremely reliant on fossil fuels, the prime culprit for climate change. From operating automobiles to generating electricity, fossil fuels are burnt leading to an increase in the concentration of greenhouse gases. These gases trap the heat inside the atmosphere and cause global warming.
Human, animal, and plant life is under threat because of the earth’s rising temperatures. Climate change is real, and we cannot deny it. The flooding of rivers to fires ravaging acres of forests is an alarming reminder as to what may continue if climate change is not checked.
Now let us address the question here. Is climate change a big deal? The simple answer is yes. Now more than ever.
According to NASA, since 2014, global temperatures have risen more than ever, with the year 2016 being the warmest year on record. The rate at which climate change is accelerating only proves that it is a matter that must be dealt with utmost priority and urgency.
Warming up of oceans, melting ice caps, and extensive wildfires might appear because of climate. This is where we falter; to mention the smallest amount, the balance of the earth’s biodiversity is intimately intertwined with human life.
For instance, let’s look at the bleaching of coral reefs. Warmer ocean temperatures result in coral polyps expelling algae and turning white.
Without a rich coral reef ecosystem, many reef species would die. This would result into reduced catch for fishers. Communities in coastal regions will face a disruption in their food supply. Dead reefs would also dampen the tourism industry which is the prime livelihood of coastal towns. Furthermore, when bleaching occurs, reefs no longer become a practical source for compounds that are used to treat heart disease, cancer, etc.
The warming of the climate does not cause isolated events. On the contrary, it leads to a ripple effect that throws the socioeconomic balance off. If we take the risk of further shattering the fragility of our ecosystem, the results would be catastrophic.
In the last decade, the average temperature of the earth has increased by 1.5℃. Although it is a negligible rise, the repercussions have been profound.
The world is experiencing more intense and frequent extreme weather conditions like hurricanes, storms, heatwaves, and droughts due to climate change. Within the year 2020, the damages caused by climate change cost the world $210 billion, which is the highest amount as said in a report by the reinsurance company Munich Re.
The Paris Climate Accord aims to hold the average global temperature below 2℃. Our planet is heading towards a downward spiral, but it can still be saved. The target to maintain the average temperature at a sustainable level would not be a far-fetched dream if we act immediately.
To move towards a greener, healthier, and a less fatiguing environment is possible. Tweaking our lifestyles like switching to renewable energy, recycling, promoting afforestation, cutting down on meat consumption, and buying local would definitely mitigate climate change.
With the Earth being our only home, it is imperative that we realize that climate change is a serious threat. The Amazon Forest is the lungs of our planet, and it is suffocating. Poisoned blood is flowing through our oceans. The earth is under attack. It is not too late to reverse the effects of climate change before humanity finds itself in the midst of a dire situation.
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