The issue of global warming is not remote. The alarming repercussions that global warming is having on Pakistan in particular and the rest of the globe, in general, are highlighted by the thought-provoking statements of Greta Thunberg, a 16-year-old Swedish girl. She highlights in general the seriousness of the issue that global warming has grown to be. In her speech, she said, “This is all wrong. I should not be up here. We should be back at school on the other side of the ocean.
Yet, you all come to us young people for hope. How dare you! You have stolen my dreams, my childhood, with your empty words. And yet I’m one of the lucky ones. People are suffering and dying. Our entire ecosystem is collapsing. We are at the beginning of mass extinction. All you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth. How dare you?
Isn’t it true that man is destroying his own motherEarth? Is the Earth habitable in 100 years? Isn’t it our shared responsibility to protect the environment for coming generations? Because substantial evidence of increasing ocean levels, abrupt climatic shift patterns, mass migration, and hazards to plants and animals all show that global warming is a reality and an unrelenting issue in today’s world.
Understanding the matter better
There is a segment of the global community, including skeptics, scientists, and political leaders, who believe that global warming is a hoax that has only surfaced as a money-making concern. “I don’t believe in climate change,” former US President Donald Trump tweeted. He also claimed that global warming was invented by the Chinese in order to make American manufacturing uncompetitive.
Since the pre-industrial period between 1850 and 1900, Global warming has been a long-term heat source for the Earth’s climate system. Human actions, particularly the combustion of fossil fuels, have increased heat-trapping greenhouse gases, worsening global climate change. Although climate change refers to both human and natural warming effects, the terms are sometimes used interchangeably.
Regardless of the skeptic’s point of view, there are numerous grounds for global warming. The average increase of the Pacific Ocean in recent decades is the most irrefutable evidence of global warming. Sea level in the western Pacific Ocean has been rising at a rate of 2 to 3 times the global average since 1990, resulting in a net increase of around 0.3 meters. According to the 2012 US National Climatic Assessment, global climate scenarios predict a rise of 0.2 to 2.0 meters by 2100. Isn’t this proof enough to prove that global warming is a fact?
The melting of Arctic glaciers is another major indicator of global warming
Over the last half-century, the ice of the Arctic Sea has thinned intensely and has decreased by over 10% in the last 30 years, according to Daniel Frage and two other researchers from the US Geological Survey Global Change and Research. Also, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) predicts that increased temperatures cause more ice to melt and result in adding up more water in the sea(IPCC report). The water heats and grows in volume when it passes through glaciers and ice caps. These events have played a major role in the rising of the ocean and worldwide sea levels by 4 to 8 inches in the previous century. It is a truth that cannot be ignored any longer.
Not only that but also urbanization has added more to global warming, according to the IPCC report, urban growth feeds increased commercialization and industrialization, which has increased the use of fossil fuels. An increase in fossil fuels means adding further carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, which adds a lot to global warming. Enhanced and timely policies must be ensured to curb the cause.
Yet another factor that adds further to global warming is the massive population increase. The current population growth rate in the world is 1.05% per year, according to the World Bank report. This massive chunk of the population will further aggravate global warming if not curtailed timely.
One of the sudden and catastrophic disasters triggered by global warming was the Australian Bush Fire. November 2019, marked a disaster in the state of New South Wales, Australia, when sudden fire flames erupted, causing the government to announce a state of emergency. A total of 25.5 million acres of land have been razed to the ground. Approximately 3000 dwellings have been damaged or destroyed. Fires are thought to have killed over a billion mammals, birds, and reptiles. Isn’t this evidence enough to open the eyes of skeptics who believe that global warming is a hoax?
This wildfire exemplifies how climate patterns are shifting throughout the planet. According to climatic risks around the world, Pakistan’s climate vulnerability has climbed from fifth to the eighth rank. Climate change has cost Pakistan 0.52 percent of its GDP per unit thus far. In the last 19 years, the country has experienced 173 climate-related occurrences. The recent fire-related incidents have been observed in Balochistan, KPK, and the federal capital of Pakistan which are all the results of global warming.
Forty percent of the native olive trees have been reduced to ashes in the Koh-e-Sulaiman region of Balochistan’s Sherani district alone. Due to strong winds, the fire that started on May 9 in Dera Ismail Khan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), suddenly spread to the nearby province of Balochistan.
This episode is sufficient evidence of how severe global warming has gotten
The month of June was the wettest month of the year thus far, the Pakistan Meteorological Department reports, with above-average rainfall. Rain was recorded in Balochistan at +47.6 percent, Gilgit Baltistan at +86 percent, Punjab at +110.9 percent, and KP at +57.1 percent. While some people may find excitement in the sudden downpour, other instances have resulted in landslides, flooding, and fatalities. While April 2022 remained the driest month in the nation’s history over the previous 60 years. This shows unequivocally that our nation is in a state of global warming collapse, which requires significant efforts to address.
Can humans battle global warming? Or is mankind strong enough to take subtle action against global warming? Indeed, global warming is one of the pressing issues of mankind and it certainly requires much to tackle the issue. Worldwide nations and states must censor greenhouse emissions produced by them. Also, fossil fuel sources of energy must be replaced by renewable energy sources like solar, and wind energy. Awareness among the citizens has to be catered to using the sources of energy efficiently and accordingly. The enhanced role of state policies must be shifted to planting more trees other than deforestation.
The global warming phenomenon has to widely be communicated with our friends and family so that they are aware of it and take environmentally friendly decisions. Also, we have to invest in energy-efficient appliances that emit less or no carbon dioxide into our surroundings at all. In a word, global warming cannot be overlooked. It is one of the greatest outbreaks of our time, and we have to deal with it as a whole. As Barack Obama said, global warming is no longer some far-off problem. It is happening here. It is happening now.
The writer is working as Research Officer at Balochistan Think Tank Network (BTTN). He completed his MPhil in Peace and Conflict Studies from National Defence University, Islamabad. The views expressed by the writers do not necessarily represent Global Village Space’s editorial policy.