The Ever-Changing Climate: Threat To Our Little Planet

(Saffara Shoaib, Lahore)

“God Gave Us The Earth To Till And To Keep In A Balanced And Respectful Way”
-Pop Francis

In the era where everything has become so fast and updated, where everything can be grabbed with just one click, the crucial problems are yet to be solved. Global problems require global solution and when the problem is as critical as climate change quick alarming steps are required to fix it. Climate change is a real problem that is hitting the communities hard and at the minute, we see it everywhere. Rise in the sea level, extreme events of high temperature, acidity of the surface’s ocean water, warming oceans, global rise in temperature, glacier melting, changing weather patterns, contaminated water, infectious air quality index and hazardous gas emission are some crucial aspects of climate change. Unfortunately, every living individual of this planet whether it’s related to human life or the wild life, they are fighting every bit for their survival because of this ever changing environment. Scientists declare the years from 2015 to 2018, the four hottest years ever recorded. Few critical aspects of an increasingly changing climate are as follows:

1. Rise in the sea level
Due to continuous emission of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, more than 90 percent of the heat has been absorbed due to these gases there is a constant increase in the global sea level. There is a rise of .13 inches (3.2 mm) every year have been recorded. Various regions and coastal villages of Karachi were flooded due to the cyclone “Kyarr” intensified the Arabian sea. The Pakistan Metrological Department (PMD) referred this cyclone as “Very Severe Cyclonic Storm (VSCS)” and is likely to move further northwestwards towards Oman coast during next few days. An Indian channel said on Sunday that, “Cyclone Kyarr, a tropical storm that formed in the Arabian Sea, is likely to cause heavy rain in coastal Karnataka”.

2. Glacier Melting
The rapidly increasing temperature because of the industrial revolution, carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, the glaciers are melting abruptly. Recently, Prince Willian and his wife Kate visited Hindu Kash glacier to inspect the reasons behind these rapidly melting glaciers of Pakistan. The Duke of Cambridge called the glacial melt an "impending catastrophe" in a speech delivered at a glittering reception in Islamabad late Tuesday.

Prince William and Kate Middleton on their visit to Hindu Kash

3. Deforestation
Balancing the ecosystem, the best way for cooling the planet is to plant trees. Perhaps, that is why they are called the planet’s “natural fans”. But unfortunately, trees cutting has been increased over the past few years in order to increase human activities. This tree loss has intensified the temperature in Pakistan as well as polluting the atmosphere. Hence regarding this situation, the government of Pakistan has taken some serious initiatives in order to tackle this critical issue of climate change. The campaign of “Ten Billion Tree Tsunami” has been initiated to increase the forestation and to deal with the ever changing climate.

4. Changing weather patterns
In the lower level of atmosphere, the weather changes effecting the human as well as the wild life living in this ecosystem. Increasing temperature, infected clouds, exhausted wind, poor air quality are something that people experience in their daily life. Severe weather conditions like hurricanes, tornadoes, heat waves, blizzards, droughts, acid rain and smog infecting the atmospheric conditions.

• High and Low Temperature:
There is a constant increase in the hot summer days and unusuall hot summer nights (lows) have become more common at an even faster rate. This trend indicates less “cooling off” at night. Deforestation, industrial growth, increase in carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases are few reasons behind the intense warming of our planet. Pakistan is the eighth most vulnerable country to climate change. Because of these issues, there is a wide spread in diseases, people of northern areas accounting some organic changes in their food and the future doesn’t looks safe.

• Drought:
Due to poor atmospheric conditions and more polluted air, the water supply become reliable, decrease in rainfall and the increase in temperature continues to rise. According to a new report brought out by the World Resources Institute in August this year, 17 countries now have to deal with “extremely high” water stress – Pakistan ranks at number 14. Many of these water-stressed countries, including Pakistan, face the danger of both floods and droughts.

• Heat Wave:
Heat waves are periods of abnormally hot weather lasting days to weeks. The number of heat waves has been increasing in recent years. This trend has continued in 2011 and 2012, with the number of intense heat waves being almost triple the long-term average. In the time of May to August, Pakistan Meteorological Department has issued a heat-wave alert in Karachi because of the rapid increase in temperature. One hundred and twenty-one heatstroke centers and first response centers have also been established by the Sindh government to provide relief to the citizens from the scorching heat.

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