Monday February 18, 2019
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Climate change is upon us, Act now or never

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By Harshmeet Singh

Up till now, the Paris climate change summit has dominated the news stories in the month of December. All the hoopla surrounding the Paris climate change summit is completely justified considering the disastrous impact of climate change that awaits us in the future. If you are still doubtful about the gravity of the issue, the following images might help you in coming to terms with the reality.

polar bear

No image better exemplifies our gloomy future than this image of a polar bear trying to hold on to a fast melting glacier. Over the past 150 years, the average temperature of our planet has increased by 2.5 degrees, thus causing the Antarctica, Greenland and Arctic ice to melt faster than ever, which in turn raises the water levels across the world. This is specially dangerous for low-lying coastal nations which would submerge in the ocean if this trend continues.

climate change

 

drought

According to the scientists, floods and droughts are likely to increase with the increasing global temperatures. Changing patterns of rainfall, such as the one that wrecked havoc in Chennai are likely to become increasingly common.

water scarcity

The issue of fresh water scarcity is likely to assume much greater proportions in the coming years with increase in the melting rates of ice caps.

penguins

The population of polar animals such as penguins is on a constant decline. The population of Adélie penguins of Antarctica has declined to 1/3rd in the last 3 decades.

If these images aren’t enough to put across the challenge of climate change that we are up against, may be we don’t deserve the Earth after all.

Next Story

Americans ‘Alarmed’ by Climate Change Double in Just 5 Years

Twenty-nine percent of respondents to the poll conducted last December by Yale and George Mason universities.

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Paris Climate Meet, Global Warming
A woman displays a placard during a demonstration in New York on June 1, 2017, to protest U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to pull out of the 195-nation Paris climate accord deal. VOA

The proportion of Americans found to be “alarmed” by climate change has doubled in just five years, the pollsters behind a nationwide survey revealed on Tuesday.

Twenty-nine percent of respondents to the poll conducted last December by Yale and George Mason universities were in the alarmed category — an all-time high — and twice the percentage of those surveyed in 2013.

More than 1,100 adults across the United States were asked about their beliefs, attitudes and behaviors toward climate change.

The answers were then used to classify respondents into six groups, from dismissive, or least worried about climate change, to alarmed, for those most worried.

US, New York
FILE – People cool off at the Unisphere in Queens, New York, July 2, 2018. VOA

Those deemed dismissive of global warming represented 9 percent of respondents, a drop of five points compared to 2013.

‘Green New Deal’

The findings come amid a growing polarization of the political debate over the issue of global warming in the United States.

The decision by U.S. President Donald Trump to pull out of the Paris climate deal has fired up his base, while opponents have championed a “Green New Deal” that seeks to eliminate the nation’s heat-trapping greenhouse gas emissions within a decade.

The 2015 Paris accord, agreed by nearly 200 nations, seeks to wean the global economy off fossil fuels in the second half of this century, limiting the rise in average temperatures to “well below” 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial times.

The increased visibility of global warming such debates generate could explain Americans’ rising concern, said Kenneth Sherrill, a political science professor emeritus at Hunter College in New York City.

New York, Climate
The climate in New York City in 60 years could feel like Arkansas now. Pixabay

“The more information you get there more interested that you are,” he said.

Academic research has further shown that growing exposure to bouts of extreme weather may also change minds, he added. “And it results in higher concern.”

Climate change influences economy

Climate change will cost the U.S. economy hundreds of billions of dollars by the end of the century, hitting everything from health to infrastructure, according to a 2018 government report, the Fourth National Climate Assessment Volume II.

ALSO READ: Global Warming Could Change US Cities’ Climate by 2080- Study

Meanwhile, three of the five costliest hurricanes in the United States — Harvey, Maria and Irma — occurred in 2017, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, part of the U.S. Commerce Department. (VOA)