A lot has been said, a lot is talked about, a lot of money is being spent, a lot many changes are being felt in our atmosphere but still a lot less is being done to evade the imminent danger of the Global worming due to the increase in the volume of Carbon Dioxide and other gases in to the atmosphere. Most of us do not realise the grave consequences of the global worming or are very casual about it. The Environment Scientists all over the world have been cautioning the political leaders and all those who can make a difference to act fast and act more aggressively to reduce the impacts the global worming. No doubt every year number of important meetings and seminars are held on the subject, many important resolutions are passed but nothing concrete has emerged so far at Kyoto in Japan.
Let us therefore understand in plain words what is happening around us and what could possibly go worse as the consequence of the consistent global worming.
The amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere has risen substantially since the start of the nineteenth century. It has grown from 277 parts per million (ppm) to 384 ppm in 2007. The annual rise in the atmospheric CO2 level is the result of the annual discharge into the atmosphere of 7.5 billion tons of carbon from burning fossil fuels and 1.5 billion tons from deforestation. The current annual rise is nearly four times what it was in the 1950s, largely because of increased emissions from burning fossil fuels. As more CO2 accumulates in the atmosphere, temperatures go up. It is expected that if the drastic changes are not brought about in release of the carbon dioxide in to the atmosphere, then during this century the temperature of the earth could rise by up to 6.4 degrees Celsius[ as per the projections of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)] The IPCC-projected rise in temperature is a global average. In reality, the rise will be very uneven. It will be much greater over land than over oceans, in the high northern latitudes than over the equator, and in the continental interiors than in coastal regions.
Higher temperatures diminish crop yields, melt the snow/ice reservoirs in the mountains that feed the earth’s rivers, cause more-destructive storms, increase the area affected by drought, and cause more frequent and destructive wildfires. The destructive effects of higher temperatures are visible on many fronts. Crop-withering heat waves have lowered grain harvests in key food-producing regions in recent years. In 2002, record-high temperatures and drought reduced grain harvests in India, the United States, and Canada, dropping the world harvest 90 million tons, or 5 percent below consumption. The record-setting 2003 European heat wave contributed to a world harvest that again fell short of consumption by 90 million tons. Intense heat and drought in the U.S. Corn Belt in 2005 contributed to a world grain shortfall of 34 million tons. Such intense heat waves also take a direct human toll. In 2003, the searing heat wave that broke temperature records across Europe claimed more than 52,000 lives in nine countries.Italy alone lost more than 18,000 people, while 14,800 died in France.
The other impact of the global warming will be in terms of rising sea levels due to the continuous melting of the ice at north and south poles. Sea levels could rise up to 12 meters (39 feet). Many of the world’s coastal cities could be under water, over 600 million coastal dwellers may have to be forced to move.
We are able to see the symptoms of the massive disaster heading towards us with a menacing speed by way of hurricanes, wild fires, heat waves, droughts, floods, vanishing glaciers all over the world and drying up rivers. It could really be unstoppable and uncontrollable if we failed to act fast. But are we doing enough, are we really alert to this problem ..... JUST THINK ABOUT IT.