COVID 19 &CLIMATE CHANGE
COVID 19 and Climate change are the top most critical global challenges of our times, and we as a society need first to understand climate change, and then we can work on it because our fate is interlinked with the fate of our environment. Now we all are curious to know, HOW DOES CLIMATE CHANGE AFFECT OUR LIVES?
Climate is an average weather condition of an area over a long period of time (at least 30 years) it accounts for seasonal variations and extremes of weather in a region. The climate pattern is influenced by both natural as well as anthropogenic activities that alter the composition of the global atmosphere. Both of them are equally responsible for climate change, The climate is changing at a steady rate, since the mid 20th century the human activities are proceeding at an unprecedented rate, adversely affecting the climate and it can sustain for an extended period of time, maybe a decade or millions of years.
The natural causes account for tilt of the earth, volcanic eruptions, continental drift, oceanic currents, the precession of equinoxes, solar irradiance. The anthropogenic causes account for emission of greenhouse gases(Carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, CFCs ). These greenhouse gases are increasing in the atmosphere resulting in an increase in the average global temperature. This may upset the hydrological cycle, resulting in floods and droughts, change in agriculture productivity, water supply, transportation, catastrophes and thus lead to the mass death of humans, livestock and several other problems.
The global change in temperature will fluctuate in different regions of the world. Since 1906, the global average surface temperature has increased by more than 0.9 degree Celsius, many people still feel that global warming and climate change are synonyms, but we as a society need to aware ourselves about the difference, its the climate change that leads to global warming. The key signs of climate change are increasing in the global concentration of carbon dioxide, increase in global surface temperature, a decline in Arctic sea ice, a decrease in land size and a rise in sea level. The COVID -19 outbreak and the climate crises are the reminders that we as a society have failed to protect our climate. The impact of the pandemic is both immediate and dreadful.
The planet`s unfolding environmental crises is a deeper emergency. Biodiversity loss, ocean acidification, rising temperatures, melting and retreatment of glaciers, more enormous events like downpours and droughts these are the things which we can`t isolate out of. This pandemic has led to significant emissions reduction, as in parts of Asia we saw 25 per cent of decrease in greenhouse gas emissions and globally there was a decrease of 17 per cent in April 2020, analysis shows that the coronavirus temporarily reduced even China`s CO2 emissions by a quarter, with few people driving and flying oil consumption has fallen off a cliff, but we know that this is temporary because it`s not going to last beyond this pandemic.
The world needs to lower the emissions by about 2.7 % each year to keep the planet under 2 degrees of global warming. The environmental problems are never taken seriously by the government of any nation neither its citizens, This year we saw a huge number of people losing their lives due to this pandemic but according to WHO (world health organization), every year due to respiratory diseases caused by air pollution 4.6 million people die and patients with respiratory difficulties are at a greater risk of COVID -19.
Today we see media covering the COVID 19 news all over the globe, but when it comes to addressing climate change there are just a few, for example, everyone in the news recommends us to wear masks but no one tells us a proper way to dispose of them, please remember to cut the straps of masks before throwing them as there is a high chance of them ending in wrong places and they can cause big problems to innocent animals. Disposal of biomedical waste generated from hospitals treating COVID 19 patients also demands extra care as they can be the potential carriers of the virus and can degrade our climate as well.
Now we can`t say that climate change does not have any solution, we can go by restoring forests, we can stop destructing forests on a large scale by reusing the products and bring these lands back to their natural state before it`s too late. When a forest is lost anywhere people feel it everywhere. We can protect wildlife because every being maintains a balance. We can start rebuilding coastal habitats because they secure carbon 40 times faster than the tropical forests, not only this we have new technological solutions, energy solutions and we as a society have the most powerful solution that is to talk about it every day when the world unites and decides to work together change can occur.
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