What is Climate Change?

You must be thinking why celebrities from Bollywood to Hollywood all talking about Climate Change. I mean when Leonardo Di Caprio finally got his first oscar, why did he care to give a long speech about Climate Change? It made me think that I should read and know more about it. And then I realized Climate Change is no joke and why it needs our attention. Meanwhile, I am running my head and trying to think how can I raise awareness about it, I thought to share some facts that might make you realize, ”Shit this is real!”.

I know that you know but you know I will repeat what you know, “Climate change is a change in the pattern of weather and climate on a regional or global level. Carbon-Di-Oxide and its increase in the environment is the main factor behind it.” This sounds something out of the book and not convincing, right? I collected some facts published by NASA, read them and then tell me if you still don’t feel like we humans are in a mess.

On climate change, we often don’t fully appreciate that it is a problem. We think it is a problem waiting to happen.
-Kofi Annan (Former UN Secretary General)

Temperature Rise

We all keep complaining it’s getting hot every year and this is why. Ever since the industrial revolution started in 1970 the pollution increased drastically. More industries are emitting Carbon dioxide, more cars are on the roads and more refrigerators and air conditioners are emitting more and more gasses. We thought that we can balance this because trees intake Carbon dioxide. But we are cutting them down at a faster rate than we are growing them. Global Warming caused the temperature to rise by 1 degree in 30 years, which is expected to rise even more in the years to come. [ Download Data ]

Increase in Sea Level

Okay, so you can feel the increase in temperature but sitting in your home can’t measure the increase in sea level, right? Let’s not forget that 70% of the earth is made up of water and it also surrounds all the continents. Due to Global Warming and increase in temperature the polar ice sheets are melting causing the water level to rise. When we hear that it’s a matter of few inches it sounds alright to us. But by the end of 50 years, the sea level is expected to rise by 1 meter, which means the coastal regions will have a high threat of submerging in water.

Glacial Melting

We’ve studied this even in school but who cares? I mean we live on land, we breathe air, we drink water, why the heck do we care about some glacier now? Global Warming and Climate Change are melting the glacial ice and increasing the water level but that’s not the only concern here. Sheets of ice reflect sun’s heat back and it’s absence means more heat trapped in our atmosphere. These glaciers are also the source of fresh water and losing them means affecting other rivers and water systems. Satellite images recovered every year show shrinking ice sheets in arctics and other places globally. And the fresh water sources have already been reduced by a 20%.

Acidification of Oceans

Then again, we don’t live in an ocean so let the sea creatures take care of themselves. But Hello, we share the same ecosystem so if they die, we die next. Water bodies act as Carbon Sink and the carbon dioxide in the environment is dissolved in the sea water as well. This makes the water more and more acidic.  It damages the skins and shells of animals living under water. 50% of the ‘Great barrier Reef’ which is the largest coral reef in the world is dead or about to extinct because of acidification. Scientists believe that at this rate 1/3 of the sea animals will extinct before the end of this century.

Random Environmental Changes

Now, this is something our media keep us updated about thankfully. Sudden changes in the climate and extreme events happening all over the world. More earthquakes, frequent tornados in the coastal areas. Tsunamis and floods have already shown their drastic damage in the Asian countries. The pattern of rainfall has become very unpredictable over the years. Last year witnessed the highest snowfall in 300 years. It was also the hottest year since last ice age. But until it’s not a bomb that does not explode in our house it’s fine, right?

What has started bothering me lately is our confidence about the word FUTURE. We want to do this and that in future. Our government, society, science all working to create something FOR the FUTURE. But what if there is NO FUTURE? Where do all these efforts go? For all our plans for FUTURE to work, we first need to have one.

The moment I realized Climate Change is a big deal I decided to act upon it. I am thankful that through my blog I can share with you What I am doing to make a difference and How you can do that too. Until then, think about it, I know Climate Change seems impersonal and something that does not effect your day to day life every day. But someday it will be personal and change everything about our lives, so let’s not wait for that day. And getting back to Leo’s oscar speech, “Climate Change is REAL and it’s happening NOW!”

This is Aakash Ranison Signing off,
Keep Travelling, Be Responsible!