(updated on 26/02/2020)
Climate Change, Worst Disaster is Yet to Come :
Uncontrolled exploitation of the natural world by humans has borne yet another fruit of disaster. January 2020 was the warmest recorded ever, resulting in the warm air successfully reaching the Antarctic peninsula due to the climate change.
The envelope of warm air due to climate change has made Antarctica lose ice & snow cover much faster than ever before. According to the CNN report, In early February, Antarctica reached a record-breaking 64.9 degrees Fahrenheit that was parallel to the temperature in Los Angeles during that particular period. This was confirmed when NASA’s Earth Observatory released the shocking satellite images that revealed the dark fact… The ice-caps on the Eagle Island has retreated at an alarming rate like never before, leaving behind the visible bare soil. The image also revealed the formation of massive melted ponds inland. These alarming changes occurred within a span of 9 days.
According to NASA’s report, the Island has experienced about 1 inch of ice melting within a day and 4 inches in just a week. This accounted for a 20% loss of the entire seasonal ice formation in this one devastating event. Experts say that these melting phenomena are becoming more and more frequent.
In the race towards modernization, we have forgotten to care for our Planet. Earth’s natural resources are depleting faster than expected due to uncontrolled usage of fossil fuel, deforestation on a massive scale, polluting oceans, unbounded mining, extensive and unchecked usage of groundwater, disrupting the delicate balance of food chain by rampant hunting, overfishing and poisoning the environment with nuclear waste. As a result, we are edging towards our annihilation.
According to the 5th Assessment Report of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change the current trend of ‘global warming‘ is most extremely [probability greater than 95%] to be the result of human activity since the mid 20th century and is rising at a rate unparalleled like never before.
Compelling Evidence of Rapid Climate Change
1. Rise in Global Temperature
Earth’s average surface temperature has risen about 0.9°C [1.62°F] since the late 19th century due to a substantial increase of Co2 and other toxic gases in the atmosphere.
Most of the warming happened in the past 35 years has consistently propelled climate change. And the last 5 years were the warmest on record. According to the Natural Resource Defense Council [NRDL], the rising temperature has resulted in longer and hotter heat waves, more frequent droughts, heavier rainfall, and powerful hurricanes, disrupting the weather balance across the globe.
Facts around the world for climate change :
In June 2019, Europe witnessed one of the deadliest ‘heatwave’ ever on history.
- France – 107.6°F
- Germany – 104.5°F
- Belgium – 102°F
- Netherlands – 101.5°F
> In 2015, California had witnessed the worst drought in 1200 years.
> India is now witnessing the worst flood disaster ever in history.
> In 2015, one of the deadliest cyclones ever ‘Hurricane Patricia’ with the wind speeds up to 200 mph devastated the Coast of Mexico.
2. Warming Oceans
An increase in global temperatures directly affects the Oceans. The Oceans absorb much of the increased planet’s heat which in turn warms the oceans.
The top 700 meters [2,300 ft] of the ocean is warmed up by more than 0.4°F since 1969.
> According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature [IUCN], this directly contributes to climate change and adversely affects the marine ecosystem including coral, the breeding grounds for mammals, and marine species.
> Rising Ocean temperatures also affect humans by threatening food security, causing more extreme weather events which in turn causes the loss of coastal protection.
3. Shrinking Ice Sheets
A drastic rise in global temperature is also warming the ocean which in turn triggers the loss of ice mass of our Planet. They are shrinking faster than ever before due to climate change.
Data from NASA’s ‘Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment‘ shows Antarctica has lost about 127 billion tons of ice per year between 1993 and 2016 while Greenland has lost an average of 236 billion tons of ice per year during the same time period. The loss of Antarctica ice mass has tripled in the last decade.
> One of the Major freshwater sources ‘Glaciers‘ are most affected and are retreating faster than before, everywhere around the world.
> Satellite observations over the past 5 decades revealed the decreased spring snow cover in the Northern Hemisphere and the melting of snow earlier than usual.
Facts around the world for how climate change is affecting the world :
> Himalayan glaciers across India, Bhutan, Nepal, and China have been losing the equivalent of more than 1½ foot of ice vertically each year since 2000.
> According to the National Academy of Sciences, Antarctica’s sea ice cover has melted by an area 4 times greater than France in a few years, and now Antarctica is at its record low ice cover.
> According to research by the University of Iceland, the ‘Okjökull‘ Glacier covered 16 sq.miles in the 19th century but by 2012 it was measured at just 0.7 sq.miles.
> Arctic circle may be free of ice by 2100 if the same pace of thawing is continued.
4. Rising Sea Level
The melting of ice caps has resulted in the rise of sea levels.
> Global Sea level rose about 8 inches in the last century. The rate of Sea level rising has doubled in the last 2 decades than the last century and is accelerating every year. The Sea is rising about 13 inches [3.2 mm] or more every year.
> The consequence of the rising sea level will likely be the submission of major coastal areas and landmass.
According to a special report from IPCC, the sea level will more likely rise between 10-30 inches [26-77 cms] by 2100 with temperatures warming 1.5°C as a result of climate change.
Fact: In 1993, the great Mississippi flood, over 10,000 sq.miles of the Midwestern United States was devastated by rain.
All these changes will drastically affect not only mankind but the whole flora and fauna of the planet.
> The changes that are happening around the world prove that the negative effects of climate change are already in motion.
In July, the International Union for Conservation of Nature [IUCN] added more than 7,000 animals, fishes, and plants to its endangered ‘Red List‘.
> IUCN has said that some of the most iconic species of trees, primates, rays, and fishes are now classified as critically endangered.
> Around 28,000 species are at the brink of extinction.
IUCN acting director-general, Dr. Grethel Aguilar said, “Nature is declining at rates unprecedented in human history, we must wake up to the fact that conserving nature’s diversity is in our interest.”
The greed of mankind has disrupted the balance of nature, even worse is that we are responsible for the disruption of the entire ecosystem of our planet.
It’s time for not just the government but every individual to act now to solve this huge crisis by fighting climate change. We are an intelligent species of the Planet for a reason. Make that reason worth being a human.
The planet’s problem is our problem.
Sherry Bock · September 4, 2019 at 21:18
What is the best way for an individual to help with the climate change crisis? Especially considering the current presidential administration is in denial of climate change?
Chetan · September 4, 2019 at 23:07
A simple and effective solution would be an individual to plant a single sapling and look after it… [approximately 7 billion trees]…
Reduce-Reuse-Recycle – It’s time we stop doing it as a hobby and make it a habit instead. And coming on to the political drama, people who deny the fact [climate change] must first be educated with the right knowledge of the present situation… ‘Hurricane Dorian’ is knocking the door…