Editorial

Effects of climate change

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 8/9/2019 11:51:03 AM IST

 Several states such as Maharashtra, Assam, Meghalaya, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Bihar and Kerala are experiencing floods and water logging due to heavy rainfall during the past few weeks. In particular, Mumbai, India’s largest commercial metropolis is being deluged by continuous rainfall throwing normal life out of gear. Many flights and trains have been cancelled but the doughty and resilient Mumbaikars continue with life as usual .All these rains that should have been beneficial are instead unexpected and abnormal and brings a reminder about the seriousness of climate change. Torrential rains are not abnormal but the magnitude of the quantity has certainly taken a heavy toll on life and property. A similar situation had occurred in 2018 and this seems to have become a pattern. First, there is a deficit in rainfall for an extended period and when the rains do arrive, they are so intense that they cause floods, landslides and flash floods. Kerala that used to experience heavy rains on rare occasions, had experienced a very dormant monsoon. Once the rains began, they did not stop for almost two weeks. This has been a worrying trend for the past few years. Back in 2016, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan were in a drought-like situation when floods occurred in July-August, while Bihar and Assam -two states that are facing their worst floods in almost three decades, had deficit rainfall that monsoon. Global rainfall data for over the last century shows an alarming trend. The number of rainy days is decreasing while intense rainfall events of 10-15 cm/day are increasing. This means that more amount of water is pouring down in lesser time. For example, globally, 50 per cent of annual precipitation (rain, snow and ice) is received in just 11 days. Humans have caused major climate changes to happen already, and which have been set in motion more changes still. Even if countries stopped emitting greenhouse gases today, global warming would continue to happen for at least several more decades, if not centuries. That’s because it takes a while for the planet (for example, the oceans) to respond, and because carbon dioxide – the predominant heat-trapping gas – lingers in the atmosphere for hundreds of years. There is a time lag between what humans do and when they feel it. In the absence of major action to reduce emissions, global temperature is on track to rise by an average of 6°C (10.8 °F), according to the latest estimates. Some scientists argue a “global disaster” is already unfolding at the poles of the planet; the Arctic, for example, may be ice-free at the end of the summer melt season within just a few years. Yet other experts are concerned about Earth passing one or more “tipping points” – abrupt, perhaps irreversible changes that tip our climate into a new state. There is a record breaking heatwave in Europe which has left the continent scorched, including Germany where the climate talks are being held. Just before this an elongated heat wave period in India had swept through 23 states and Union territories. Both these events are a result of climate change which validates the work being done by climate scientists. So, it would be imperative for the United Nations Framework on Climate Change Convention (UNFCCC) to take the science of climate change seriously and use it in its negotiation proceedings.

 

Launched on December 3,1990. Nagaland Post is the first and highest circulated newspaper of Nagaland state. Nagaland Post is also the first newspaper in Nagaland to be published in multi-colour.

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