(This is the first part of the climate change series)
Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of water, there was none as extreme weather had caused a drought.
Here comes the lecture!
Actually no! I have decided to take a break from trying to enlighten you and asked Lavanya instead to talk to our regular readers.
Enlightenment indeed! But thank heavens. Even Lavanya would be better than you!
Earth’s climate is changing.
But so it has been since the time earth was formed 4.5 billion years ago. The climate changes in the pre historic times were driven by tiny changes in the earth’s orbit which drove changes in the amount of solar energy the earth received.
Mass extinctions were the order of the day when such changes happened and if you have watched all the Ice Age movies (& their sequels), you’ll know how that happened.
But what makes the climate change of late so alarming is the sheer rapidity with which they are changing and the incontrovertible evidence that human activity is the driver of the most recent changes. As the only sentient species of this planet, we of course want to prevent our extinction.
The heat-trapping nature of carbon dioxide and their ability to affect the transfer of infrared energy through the atmosphere has been proven many times by now. The oceans have absorbed most of the increased heat. The perma frost and the ice sheets of Antarctica have tripled their loss due to global warming in the past decade.
So is it all gloom and doom? Not so fast, says NASA. China and India – the two most populous countries in the planet have made it lot greener in the last decade mainly due to vigorous tree planting and innovative crop rotation practices. While that might seem surprising to most readers (after all, we expect the most populous nations to be the most destructive to the environment), other nations would do well to follow their lead.
Changes to the global climate will continue into the rest of this century and beyond. Extreme heat alongside extreme cold weather such as recent polar vortex effects in the US are expected to continue. Heavy rains and frequent flooding are expected to become a part of the normal weather patterns in the coming century and beyond. Seas are projected to increase by upto 4 feet by 2100 and Arctic is expected to be ice free.
How does all this link up to the quality of lives we lead and to humanity’s survival as a species? Stay tuned for the next part in this climate change series for more.
This post is a part of #NinaAndNana series I co-host with Kanika G. Kanika’s posts can be found here.