Post Mortem

Climate change and global warming in Nagaland and the world

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 8/19/2018 12:14:39 PM IST

 It is evident from the international newsroom to the local dailies, that nature’s fury has been hard felt across the world. From the wildfires in the US state of California which has charred 1200 km2 of land area to the floods in Kerela that rendered more than a lakh people homeless, the number of natural calamities appears to be on the rise everywhere. 

Nagaland too has witnessed excess rainfall and soaring temperatures like never before. Summer in Dimapur is almost unbearable and the electricity demand rises with every increase in degree Celsius. The incessant rain generated massive soil erosion, which in turn cut-off vital highways. The state capital seems to be worst affected in terms of road connectivity. Increasing water levels triggered floods in several regions and raging rivers have claimed precious lives. 

In 2012, a report by the Indian Network for Climate Change Assessment projected an increase in temperature and rainfall in the North Eastern region within the next decade. The findings indicated that Nagaland would experience around 1.6oC - 1.8oC increase in temperature and 10-20% increase in precipitation between 2021-2050, as compared to 1961-1990 level. These projections appear to hold true given our present condition. It serves as a wake-up call for us and confirms the urgency to give global warming some serious attention. 

In a layman’s term, climate change and global warming is a process which causes the earth’s temperature to rise. It is mainly caused by human activities like burning of fossil fuel, deforestation and improper methods of waste management. When the earth becomes warmer, various changes occur in the climatic conditions. The normal pattern of rainfall, wind, humidity and the temperature is disturbed, and we witness abnormal geographical events. 

In December 2015, 195 countries signed the Paris Climate Agreement which aimed to limit the earth’s temperature from crossing 2oC of pre-industrial levels. Beyond this scientist say, the earth would see the worst extremes of global warming. To restrict global warming within this level, all participating countries resolved to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. India committed to cut its fossil fuel consumption by 40%. The European Union also guaranteed to reduce its CO2 emissions. Recently, the city of Paris imposed a ban on plastic straws. It joins Vancouver, Seattle and Miami Beach along with Taiwan, the United Kingdom and Costa Rica in declaring war on plastics. From these examples, it is evident that the world is transitioning into a new era of a sustainable and clean environment. The question is, what are we Nagas doing about our environment here? 

Two visible factors that contribute to global warming in our state would arguably be the huge number of motor vehicles and the rising level of deforestation. Undoubtedly, Nagas love cars and owning one has become like a matter of prestige in the society. However, its use is complemented by the demand for fossil fuels which produces CO2. It is interesting to note that a normal tree can absorb 1 ton of CO2 over its lifespan whereas the average car emits about 6 tons of CO2 every year. Such a comparison reveals a negative trend and manifests the importance of savings trees and reducing our fuel consumption. 

(To be concluded)


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