If there is one phrase and phenomenon that has become more popular than anything else in the world it is Climate Change. The idea behind this phenomenon is widely recognized and realized especially in the past decade. Climate Change has become a trend today, but actually it’s the biggest concern looming over the people of the earth. The horrifying realities of Climate Change are often overlooked, albeit reduced to a mere propaganda for the so called environment activists. World leaders sign treaties day in and out at some swanky convention, but no one is ready to face the reality, take charge of the gruesome truth of Climate Change.
What is Climate Change?
NASA describes Climate Change as “Climate change is a change in the usual weather found in a place. This could be a change in how much rain a place usually gets in a year. Or it could be a change in a place’s usual temperature for a month or season. Climate change is also a change in Earth’s climate. This could be a change in Earth’s usual temperature. Or it could be a change in where rain and snow usually fall on Earth. Weather can change in just a few hours. Climate takes hundreds or even millions of years to change.”
“Climate change is a change in the pattern of weather, and related changes in oceans, land surfaces and ice sheets, occurring over time scales of decades or longer” as stated by The Australian Academy of Science.
Basically, the transformation in the atmosphere, which determines the temperature, in the ocean, on the land, on mountains etc. which happens over a long period of time and changes the temperature of the earth.
Causes of Climate Change
There are various things that cause climate change, a major factor being Human being and their inventions.
- Greenhouse Gases: Chlorofluorocarbons, Carbon monoxide, Carbon dioxide, Methane, Nitrous oxide etc.
- Human Activity: Pollution, industries, improper treatment of chemicals etc.
- Solar irradiance
- Increased use of Fossil fuels
- Increasingly intensive agriculture
- Milankovitch Cycles
- Volcanic Eruptions
All these factors contribute to an increase in temperature, which leads to Global Warming and ultimately Climate Change.
Effects of Climate Change
Climate change has its effects on the surface of the earth as well us mortal beings, these effects range from a plethora of diverse changes that we see, and will be seeing in the not so far future.
- Natural Disasters such as more frequent and intense drought, storms, heat waves, rising sea levels, melting glaciers and warming oceans.
- Cities and towns around the world are facing the consequences, from heat waves and wildfires to coastal storms and flooding.
- Extreme weather, such as cyclones, heat waves or snowstorms, can cause power outages.
- Dangerous weather disturbs livestock and crops, and droughts can have effects on the constancy and value of food.
- Powerful storms and heavy precipitation can result in the impurity of water resources.
- Glaciers will shrink, ice on rivers and lakes will breakup earlier, plant and animal ranges will shift and trees are flowering sooner.
- Disruption of habitats such as coral reefs and Alpine meadows could push many plant and animal species to extinction.
- Allergies, asthma, infectious disease outbreaks will become more communal due to amplified progression of pollen-producing ragweed, higher levels of air pollution, and the spread of conditions approving to pathogens and mosquitoes.
All the above effects and many more are currently happening, the severity will increase as time passes by.
Role of India in Climate Change
India is one of the most susceptible nation to climate change. About half of India’s population is reliant on agriculture or other climate delicate sectors. About 12% of India is flood prone while 16% is drought prone. India is the third largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world after China and the United States. India has almost triplicated its annual emission between 1990 and 2009 from less than 600 metric tons to more than 1700 metric tons. India’s annual emissions of carbon oxide are anticipated to further increase almost 2.5 times from 2008 to 2035.
Article 21 of Constitution of India states that ‘No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law.”
India has many provisions detailed specifically with respect to Climate Change and Global Warming:
- National Environment Policy, 2006
- Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974
- Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Cess Act, 1977
- Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981
- Atomic Energy Act of 1982
- Motor Vehicles Act ,1988
- The Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972
- The Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980
- Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 (EPA)
- The National Environment Appellate Authority Act, 1997
- Public Liability Insurance Act (PLIA), 1991
- National Environment Tribunal Act, 1995
- Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) Notifications
The frame work was also laid out in the ‘National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC), Prime Minister’s Council for Climate Change, Government of India (2008)’ and its subsidiary Eight Missions:
- National Solar Mission (started in 2010);
- National Mission for Enhanced Energy Efficiency (approved in 2009);
- National Mission on Sustainable Habitat (approved in 2011)
- National Water Mission;
- National Mission for Sustaining the Himalayan Ecosystem (approved in 2014);
- National Mission for a Green India (approved in 2014);
- National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture (approved in 2010); and
- National Mission on Strategic Knowledge for Climate Change.
Climate Change is not just a fad that will fade away as time passes by, it is serious concern which we as citizens and especially our representatives, the world leaders should see and take action for. Formulating laws is easy, implementing and executing in a proper manner is what makes the difference. Climate Change is real, and if we do not take drastic measures, the human kind would cease to exist.