Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Nature’s response to human activities

With global temperature gradually rising through the decades, scientists have termed it as ‘global warming’, a term that describes the impact of rise in global temperature in decades brought about by the emission of green house gases caused by fossil fuel emissions, pollutants and other human activities. There are many evidences of changing weather patterns happening across the world. When climatologists speak of changing weather pattern and its resultant effect in throwing nature’s weather out of gear; it means that the nature is not longer in control and therefore out of control. According to the India Meteorological Department the unusual heat is attributed to the lack of rainfall due to the absence of active western disturbances over north India and any major system over south India. The country as a whole recorded a rainfall of 8.9 mm, which was 71 per cent less than its long period average rainfall of 30.4 mm. It was also the third-lowest precipitation in March since 1901 after 7.2 mm in 1909 and 8.7 mm in 1908. Temperatures recorded during March and April surpassed earlier recorded values in the last 122 years 2,3. In March 2022, the average maximum temperature over India was 33.1ºC, highest for March on record. In April 2022, the average temperature over India rose to 35.3ºC against a normal of 33.94ºC (normal calculated based on the period 1981-2010). It was the third highest on record for April in 122 years. The average minimum temperature in April also shot up to 23.51ºC, second highest for the same period. Future effects of climate change will continue through this century and beyond during which temperatures will continue to rise. This will mean that frost-free season (and growing season) will lengthen, with more droughts and heat waves, hurricanes which will become more intense as the sea level is projected to rise 1-4 feet by 2100. Human interference on the environment through emissions of chemicals and pollutants, had brought changes being witnessed through changing climatic winds, oceanic currents and rising heat and humidity. The current heat wave coupled with heavy rains across India also call upon the central, state governments including people and various voluntary organisations to act with urgency to eradicate or greatly reduce factors that contribute to pollution of the environment. According to environmentalists, there can be no compensation for the loss of natural forests because open forests are often classified as degraded. A dense or closed forest, as it is known in scientific terms, is characteristic of that area and climatic conditions. When a natural forest is felled what is lost is the ecological system, including rare species of flora and fauna. What replaces it is a monoculture plantation of fast-growing species. No government in the state should overlook the role of sustainable development while pursuing economic growth. Ignoring this matter would only create an unfavourable climate literally and geographically and disturb the need to maintain equitable and healthy rates of growth.

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