Climate Change is the greatest threat facing humanity today

Muhammad Kamran Rifat

People across the world today are witnessing the impact of climate change on the planet. The average temperatures are rising and causing wildfires, hurricanes, and other disasters. All of these are difficult to ignore. The scientists are of the con- sidered opinion that climate change is still the greatest threat to human health in recorded history while the world has been plunged into a deadly pandemic. The scientists argue that everyone must treat climate change with the same energy as they have Covid-19.

In August, when wildfires raged in the United States, Europe and Siberia World Health Organisation Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebre yesus said in a statement that “the risk posed by climate change could dwarf those of any single disease.”

But climate change is not a new phenomenon. The history dates to 900-1300 when the Medieval Warm Period brought warm weather to Europe when the unusually strong North Atlantic Oscillation brought about the extra heat. In 1709 Europe experienced a freakishly cold winter In 1824, French physicist Joseph Fourier described the Earth’s natural “greenhouse effect”. He writes: “The temperature [of the Earth] can be augmented by the interposition of the atmosphere because the heat in the state of light finds less resistance in penetrating the air than in re- passing into the air when converted into non-luminous heat.” In 1938 using records from 147 weather stations around the world, British engineer Guy Callendar showed that

temperatures had risen over the previous century. He also showed. that CO2 concentrations had increased over the same period and suggested that this caused the warm ing. The “Callendar effect” was widely dismissed by meteorologists.

In the 1970s the worry was for global cooling. This was because of the theory presented by some of the scientists the pollution emitted by the people could block sunlight and as a result cool Earth. The cooling period ended, and the global warming threat became real in the 1980s. Experts believed that 1988 was the turning point when watershed events placed global warming on the centre stage. The COP21 popularly. known as Paris Climate Agreement saw 197 countries pledging in 2015 to set a target for their greenhouse cuts and to report their progress. This was the first climate change was recog nised by the world and promised vigorous efforts.

A new global agreement, the Glasgow Climate Pact, was reached at the COP26 summit concluded in November this year. It was agreed that the countries will meet next year to pledge further cuts to emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) which is a major cause of climate change. For the first time in this conference, the participating countries planned to gradually reduce and phase down. the usage of coal responsible for 40% of annual CO2 emissions. The world leaders also agreed to phase out the subsidies on coal, oil, or natural gas.

So, why the climate change is the greatest threat facing humanity today? There areseveral factors and some of them are air pollution, extreme heat, food insecurity, infec tious diseases, and mental health. All of these are linked to and caused by an increase in carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in Earth’s atmosphere. The burning of fossil fuels can have a direct impact on human health. Carbon dioxide could result in an increase in the acidity in the air which pulls more pollen from plants. This could be life-threatening for some and could cause a long bout of seasonal allergies. At first, the now they are concerned because the impact of climate change but the issues. According to an Inter

researcher did not see a direct link Change (IPCC) special report, crop yields have already begun to decline between climate change and the because of rising temperatures, harmful impact of heatwaves. But changing precipitation patterns, and extreme weather events. Studies human body was not designed to have shown that increased carbon cope with temperatures above 37 dioxide in the atmosphere can leech Celsius. Exposure to heat for a long plants of the nutrients that humans period can cause a cascade of prob- need to survive. The extended heat is lems throughout the body. Food making the geographic region where security is not the direct and harmful ticks and mosquitos like to live wider. disruption of the supply of food These animals are known to cause across the world can cause health diseases like malaria, dengue fever and Zika virus. The effects of climate governmental Panel on Climate change don’t occur in isolation. A

Image depicting a single, sad, dirty polar bear, floating on a dwindling chunk of ice, in the center of vast ocean garbage patch. Image is intended to illustrate themes like environmental degradation, ocean pollution, habitat loss, global warming, and climate change in general.

community at any given time face air pollution, food security, diseases, and extreme heat all at once or turn by turn in no random order.

One thing is clear that CO2 is not the only one that causes problems. It is part of the natural global ecosys tem. The real issue is the quantity of CO2 produced by humans which arethe highest in 800,000 years. We need to make a collective effort to combat the threat of climate change. And deforestation is not the solution.

According to German Watch, Pakistan has been ranked in the top ten of the countries most affected by climate change in the past 20 years. The reasons behind include the impact of back-to-back floods since 2010, the worst drought episode (1998-2002) as well as more recent droughts in Tharparkar and Cholistan, the intense heat wave in Karachi (in Southern Pakistan gener ally in July 2015, severe windstorms in Islamabad in June 2016, increased cyclonic activity and increased Global environmental problems need an all-of-society effort, urged participants of the fifth session of the UN Environment Assembly

As a first step, this needs to stop. There is still hope with the world progressively stepping towards eco friendly solutions like electric cars, encouraging people to use bicycles instead of cars, planning to reduce the usage of coal and other measures. All is not lost and together we all can reverse the impact of climate change or at best reduce it to minimum. A collective effort is must to get the desired result.

As for Pakistan is concerned, it is vulnerable to the effects of climate change which has occurred due to rapid industrialization with substan tial geo-political consequences. As things stand, the country is at a crossroads for a much warmer world.

Environmental Pollution can be turned into something useful

incidences of landslides and Glacial Lake Outburst Floods in the northern parts of the country.

Pakistan Government has evolved policy frameworks backed by strat egy to address various aspects of the climate change including major policy and climate related interven tions. In order to mitigate the nega tive impacts of the automobile sector on environment and giving a boost to the national economy. The federal government has taken different initiatives to mitigate the adverse effects of environment and climate, in short.

Environmental concerns and issues with pollution waste and climate

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