Climate change and global warming – Rising Kashmir
When you visit a doctor, he or she records your temperature and if it is higher than the normal body temperature of 98.6 Fahrenheit, it means that your body is hot and you are out of sorts. Similarly, when the temperature of our planet increases, it means that our planet is searing and unwell. The rise in your body is called fever; however, the same when happened to Earth’s atmosphere, it is called global warming.
Everyday when the sun’s rays reach Earth, a group of gases called green house gases (water, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide) trap a part of the heat and keep our planet warm enough for us to survive. Absence of the green house gases would mean that Earth would be 30 degree colder- too cold for most of the species. However, if the levels of these gases in the atmosphere increases, they will absorb more heat and make Earth too hot for us to live! Pollution, razing forests, burning fossil fuels like coal and petrol, increases the level of green house gases in the atmosphere and this causes global warming.
Global warming has disturbed the natural rhythm of our planet from North Pole to the South Pole, and from the West to the East. The effects of rising temperatures can be witnessed everywhere. One part of the world experiences a deluge, while another part suffers from a shortage of water. In the tropics, the higher temperatures can be expected to cut the yields of the primary food crops, maize and rice by 20 to 40 percent. David Battisti, a professor of atmospheric sciences in University of Washington said, “The stresses on global food production from temperature alone are going to be huge and that does not take into account water supplies stresses by the higher temperatures.” He collaborated with Rosamond Naylor, director of Stanford University’s programme on food security and the environment, to examine the impact of climate changes on the world’s food security. In the year 1995, it was announced that the temperature due to global warming will increase. The Tasman Glacier in New Zealand is retreating at the rate of more than 500 meters a year because of global warming. This glacier was once 29 Km long but it has been reduced to 23 Km.
Global warming will result in unexpected and increased rainfall, floods, storms, heat waves and droughts. In India within the next three decades, rapid melting of the Himalayan glaciers will cause floods. As the glaciers melt and reduce in size, floods will be followed by acute shortage and even drought. Changes in precipitation patterns will affect agricultural output all over the world. The inter governmental panel on climate change (IPCC) a group of world’s leading climate researchers, concludes that the most warming over the last 50 years has occurred due to observed increase in man made green house gas concentrations. Many experts warn of disastrous consequences in case an immediate policy isn’t adopted to counter the increase in green house gas mainly carbon monoxide.
Now the question arises what can be done? Surely, we can make a big difference. Small changes in our daily routine can add up to bring about big change. Here are some simple actions which can adopt to help reduce global warming:
Using a geyser for an hour generates 3.3 Kg of carbon dioxide. If we can cut down the use of geyser by an hour a day, we can stop the release of 3.3×365=1204.5 Kg of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere annually.
One dripping tap in a house wastes 13 liters of water in a single day. Therefore wastage of water in a year is equivalent to 13×365=4745 liters of water. So make sure every time we open a tap, close it properly after use.
Compact fluorescent lamps or CFLs consume only one-third of electricity than a filament bulbs. If every family replaces these bulbs with CFLs, 10,000 MW of power would be saved.
Recycled paper uses 90% less water and 50% less energy than the new one. It produces 36% less carbon dioxide.
Using one liter of petrol produces about 1 Kg of water vapor and 2.17 Kg of carbon dioxide. Walking or using public transport, will save at least 2 liters of petrol a week.
By planting more and more trees would help in soaking up excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. So we must encourage people to plant as many plants as possible.
One thoughtful action or a simple change in our habit will go a long way in saving our planet. Delay in action can lead to the hazardous consequences for our planet and nothing will be left to our posterity. As it is said, “A Spark Neglected Can Burn the House”.
(The Author is a Writer)