Earth is warming, ice is melting, and we are chillin'!

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The Afghanistan crisis due to the Taliban takeover, or the trade war between US-China, highlights contemporary International politics. Underdeveloped and developing nations are still facing the heat of the COVID wave while developed economies recover due to their vast vaccination programmes. But amid all these, another situation that needs to be addressed at utmost priority, but still ignored blatantly: CLIMATE CHANGE!!!

The impacts of Climate change are evident for quite a long time now, and we don’t need to dig many records to understand it. Many events that occurred globally during recent times are, by far, the most alarming signals of Climate change, and they need to be addressed, NOW!

But really, how bad are the impacts of Climate Change? Why do we need to worry?

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A recent report by the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate change (IPCC) titled ‘Climate Change 2021: The Physical science basis’ has flagged many concerns and stats that need to be put on the table now, if not before! The report predicts that the world is on track for global temperature warming by at least 2.7 (degree)C by 2100, calling it “code red” for humanity.

According to the report Indian ocean is warming at a higher rate than any other ocean, which will eventually cause a rise in sea levels resulting in frequent and severe coastal flooding in low-level areas. Extremes such as heatwaves, droughts, floods, and storms are only intensifying with rising temperatures. The report warns of glaciers in the Hindu Kush Himalayan region shrinking and snow cover retreating to higher altitudes!

A study by the Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology at Dehradun states that precipitation of summer periods at higher altitudes may change from snow to rain, disturbing the summer and winter patterns!! Now, at least “No Snow in the North” should open our eyes wide open! The IPCC report warns clearly of mountain glaciers shrinking, and permafrost will continue to thaw in all regions where they are present.

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"The Batagaika crater in eastern Siberia, half a mile wide and growing, is the largest of many across the Arctic. As permafrost laced with buried ice thaws, the ground collapses, forming craters or lakes."

Another staggering event that occurred recently was rainfall at the highest point on the Greenland ice sheet for the first time on record, another signal of warming accelerating ice sheet melting at a rapid rate. Recent series of towns washed away in Germany, Subways turned into storm water drains in China, forests fried in the US, and many lives lost due to flooding in India, all are the impacts of CLIMATE CHANGE!! It would be appropriate to quote “warming is coming!”

How can we deal with this crisis?

We should consider all these findings the tip of the iceberg (worried about future generations being puzzled while using such a phrase, as the warming would melt all icebergs for them to witness it!) We need to act globally, and it should be now! Territorial disputes can take a break to limit ourselves to ecological boundaries. World leaders must frame appropriate policies. Private investments should chip in for sustainable growth, with collective efforts at all local levels.

The IPCC report clearly states that for limiting global temperature rise to 1.5 Degrees, cumulative net emissions should be net-zero and not just net emissions. Developed countries need to revamp their environmental policies. Developing and underdeveloped nations need to frame their development agendas, prioritizing environment and sustainability.

The commitment of leaders at the G7 summit towards Climate change is somewhat of a relief; but, it needs to be taken ahead by all the stakeholders. The 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26) of the UN Framework Convention on climate change is scheduled for November in Glasgow. All eyes will be on the world policymakers to take some global measures to mitigate the climate crisis!

Our history shows that extensive public outcry has pulled off massive revolutions. It is not wrong to say that we are at the stage where we might need a new global reformation! An eco revolution! To strive for ourselves and the generations to come! We ought to look at the bigger global picture and act on it. As Gandhiji said, “Be the change you want to see in the world” we need to be the wave of that change and rise against the rise of warming! While the earth is warming and glaciers are melting, we definitely cannot be chillin!!!

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