THE CLIMATE CHANGE EMERGENCY
The Earth’s climate has changed throughout the millions of years that the earth has been in existence. This has resulted in at least five ice ages throughout the earth’s history. The significance of the current climate emergency is that the changes in climatic conditions that have been observed have occurred at an escalated pace.
The advent of the industrial revolution has resulted in many technological advancements that have improved the lives of many humans, however this has come at a cost to our environment. Since the mid-20th century, the earth has progressively become warmer due to the production of more carbon dioxide and the disappearance of natural carbon sinks such as the rainforests of the world. This is significant as this has led to the observed trend of the earth’s temperature increasing which has been accused as the main cause for catastrophic climatic changes that the world has experienced in recent years.
The earth’s temperature will continue to rise if nothing is done to slow down the production of greenhouse gases that are being released to the atmosphere. The most commonly known greenhouse gases include carbon dioxide and methane. These gases act by trapping heat in the atmosphere which has resulted in the increases in the earth’s temperature. The world has already been subjected to observable changes such as impacts on the food chain, flora and fauna becoming extinct and major icebergs melting in the polar regions of the earth.
The impacts on the food chain include drought conditions which have led to the inability for crops to be grown. In addition to this, there is a clear correlation between climate change and the health of our food chain. Plant growth and development, nutrient value and plant diseases are all impacted by the global warming trend. Changes in temperature, rainfall and carbon dioxide will affect plant growth, reduce the nutritive value of crops and influence the spread of pest and diseases.
In addition to the impacts on our food chain, many animal species are becoming endangered due to the increasing temperatures that the earth is experiencing. This is due to the animals not being able to adapt fast enough to the increasing temperatures which in a lot of instances has led to the death of these animals. This has been most noticeable in our oceans with coral losing its colour and subsequently dying as a result of the ocean warming.
Climate change is a problem that needs solutions now. There will be more drought, heat waves and sea levels rising due to ice melting. The climate will become more chaotic and this is all due to human activity. Preventing the earth’s temperature from increasing will be up to us.
The problem that we face is that there is no consensus that climate change is a problem that needs to be tackled now by every country and its respective government. Without a global commitment to slow down the effects of climate change with a view to eventually reversing these effects, the situation can only get worse.