Various researchers in their reports have expressed grave concern over the fact that climate change particularly increasing temperatures is already having a significant impact on our globe as a whole. The earth was heating up at a rate of 0.7 degrees Celsius in the last century, this rate is increasing by every year now in the current century. According to projections by the IPCC in 1996 the average global air temperature will be 1o C higher by 2040 if no additional steps are taken to reduce emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases.
Both human and natural systems are climate sensitive. Warmer temperatures mean changes will occur in weather patterns, glaciers will start melting which will lead to a decrease in the amount of water stored as ice in most of the world’s glaciers, rainfall patterns will get affected and eco systems destabilized leading to habitat destruction will further increase. This in turn will affect the occurrence of floods and droughts and the availability of water upon which the survival of the earth’s natural systems and human infrastructure depends.
Sea levels will rise and that will affect coastal populations pretty badly and beaches may be eroded. The IPCC suggests that by 2080, sea level rise could convert as much as 33 percent of the world’s coastal wetlands to open water. The adverse affects on both natural and human systems will be humungous. Our resources, industries and economies will come under huge pressure, natural resources will become scarce. The agricultural sector will also have to adapt to environmental changes. Water resource management will become a huge issue.
Unpredictable weather patterns would also mean that storms, droughts and floods may occur more frequently and cause very strong damage. Wild life will be endangered, eco systems destroyed or altered forever. Severe weather events would mean that
There seem to be serious difficulties in bringing the climate change threat under control. The risks and dangers of global warming haven’t been fully quantified yet but that does not mean we haven’t started seeing the affect of global warming in our lives, on the contrary, many events in the recent past have confirmed the worst fears of most environmentalists. In the past the Kyoto protocol was signed by many countries but did not lead to any effective measures being taken despite loads of promises, mainly because the industrialized nations like the USA etc (read lead polluters) don’t want to undertake the moral responsibility of sharing the carbon emission reduction costs amongst themselves, leading to rising pressure on the poorer countries with limited financial resources to foot the bill too, and since the poorer countries don’t have enough money to share the costs, the outcome hasn’t been very effective. A lot of time has passed since the Kyoto protocol, and it is now time for some real action and not signing resolutions and making empty promises as that in no way can control this very real threat to the human race.