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Our Climate Crisis: How you can make a difference NOW


Climate change is a long-term alteration of weather, and it leads to unpredictable weather patterns. It is a long-term shift in global or regional climate patterns. The climate system of Earth is recording an increasing temperature, in which more than 95%of scientists are certain that greenhouse gases are the main contributor.

Vital signs of the planet. Source: NASA.

All lives will end if climate change is not addressed as the highly concentrated greenhouse gases are oxidising, reacting and trapping more heat within the Earth’satmosphere. Extinction level climate change is defined as temperatures exceeding 5-6oCfrom pre-industrial levels. Climate change may reach an irreversible stage where all forms of life will face more catastrophic and unpredictable disasters. Dire bushfires, flash floods, heavy storms, the sinking of cities are already being recorded, proving the existence of a climate crisis. More lives will be killed, food insecurity will bloom, agricultural failure will occur everywhere, extinctions across the globe will be recorded at a higher pace and more. By 2050, one-fourth of all species are predicted to go extinct due to climate change. Worse, with the predicted population of 10 billion people by2050, an estimation of 60% more food will be needed to cater for the population. Currently,food-related emissions are recorded to emit one-third of total greenhouse gases globally, which is more than the total gases emitted by all transportations combined worldwide. Questioning the fundamentals of sustainability, are we prepared to provide the needs of the future generation, while addressing the climate crisis?

Millions of people have been affected by climate change, directly or indirectly. We either adapt or mitigate the effects of climate change for survival. In fact, the G20 group that are the economically great countries that contribute to global economic growth, international trades and the regulation of financial markets, have been affected by this scenario too. These countries are not prepared and are adapting as well. The issue is, the poor are recorded to be the most vulnerable group despite being the least producers of greenhouse gases. This group has to deal with the aftermath of the climate change created by those unsustainable, money-making industries and businesses in the developed countries, mostly. According to a Climate Risk Index released in the article entitled, ‘Climate change hit poorest countries hardest in 2019’, countries like South America, Asia and East Africa are affected badly by storms and heavy rains due to climate change. Climate Risk Index indicates the level of exposure and extra preparedness a country needs to face impending unpredictable events and phenomena. Next, climate change is seen to increase the global cost of adaptation, according to the UNEP Adaptation Gap Report 2016. By 2050 a predicted sum of US$280 billion to US$500 billion is required annually to adapt to the climate crisis.

Climate change accounts for 10% of global deaths, either due to extreme hot or cold weather, which is equivalent to 5 million deaths every year. According to Professor Yumin Guo in the article, ‘Extreme temperatures kill 5 million people a year with heat-related deaths rising’, deaths are expected to escalate as there is already a rising trend in the number of deaths across the northern hemisphere from heat waves. This is such as the planet is on track at 3°C in terms of temperature increase, in which, scientists have warned that another 2°C warming would be catastrophic to all lives on Earth. Although the trend showed us higher cold-related deaths from 2000 until 2006, the graph is taking a reverse stand as heat-related deaths have increased 0.2% while cold-related deaths have reduced by 0.5% from 2000-2019.

Heatwaves roast U.S. Source: Yahoo News.

Next, as climate change is unevenly heating and cooling different regions and parts of the world, it has led to many other direct and indirect effects to all living things as well. The warming of Earth has caused a massive loss in Arctic glaciers that gives rise to a rising sea level, which causes more storms and coastal flooding. Many countries are at risk of sinking. In fact, Jakarta, a great city of Indonesia, has shown blatant signs of sinking. Jakarta faces this issue due to the rising sea level and the rapid consumption of groundwater to obtain water. This scenario causes a gradual sink or collapse of the land. The surge of storms and coastal flooding could result in higher vulnerability in the coastal system. Coastal flooding affects the source of food and the clean water supply for humans and animals. Water-borne diseases and contaminated food would occur more commonly in the coming years, resulting in more deaths.

Jakarta is sinking so fast that it could end up underwater.

Source: Josh Haner, New York Times.

Climate refugees, where humans migrate to adapt to climate change, are already occurring and may take place in a greater number. According to IDMC, in 2020, about 40.5 million refugees have been recorded to cross borders due to extreme weather. This appalling figure proves human migration is the consequence of climate change and humans need a more comfortable place to dwell. Animals and pests tend to migrate to adapt to the unpredictable climate too. Mass migration of animals and pests is showing the emergence of novel diseases. Climate change has caused twice the disease outbreaks by fleas, ticks, rodents, mosquitoes and more. Z