Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, a popular sentiment circulating on social media is that the coronavirus has been unleashed on us by Mother Nature due to the irreversible damage that humans cause to it. Although there are no studies that can directly link the two events, it is true that deforestation and global warming can create conditions conducive to the transmission of viruses hitherto unknown to humans. Even if that sentiment did not exist, 2021 has been littered with many sharp climate change alarms that are forcing countries to look up and take note. Earlier this year, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said we will see the Earth’s average temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels around 2030, a decade earlier. than expected just three years ago.
The report, prepared by 234 scientists from 66 countries, points out that human influence has warmed the climate at an unprecedented rate for at least 2,000 years. In response, countries made a series of decisions as part of the collective effort to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26). in November. Throughout the year, studies have shown that the tangible effects of the climate crisis are much closer to our backyards than previously thought.
Here are seven of the ways, big and small, that climate change is being felt around the world:
The wings change color: Male dragonflies have been found to change the color of their wings to accommodate rising temperatures. In a study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a group of scientists found that male dragonflies exhibited changes in the pigmentation of their wings as a mechanism for adapting to rising temperatures. Having dark pigmentation on the wings can increase the body temperature of dragonflies by up to 2 degrees Celsius. While pigmentation was originally used to help dragonflies find mates, global warming could also cause them to overheat in already warm regions. The researchers found that male dragonflies almost always responded to warmer temperatures by developing less pigmentation on the wings.
Indian cities underwater: Thanks to climate change, a few Indian cities could be underwater in less than nine years. A new study from Climate Central, a nonprofit research group, shows that around 50 major coastal cities will need to immediately take “unprecedented” adaptation measures to prevent rising seas from swallowing them up. On its new coastal hazard scouting tool, where projections show who may be below sea level up to 2150, even the closest representation to 2030 paints a dangerous picture for some Indian cities – especially in the states of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Kerala and West Bengal.
Warmest winter: Meanwhile, New Zealand recorded its warmest winter this year. During the three months through August, the average temperature was 9.8 degrees Celsius (50 degrees Fahrenheit), according to the New Zealand National Water and Atmosphere Research Institute. That’s 1.3C above the long-term average and 0.2C above the previous record posted last year. Scientists said the changes also put pressure on natural ecosystems and over time more species would be threatened with extinction.
First precipitation in Greenland: Greenland, located near the North Pole, received precipitation not in the form of snow but in the form of rain – for the first time in recorded history. This shows that rising temperatures have drastically changed weather conditions in the otherwise cold region.
A hostile land by 2500: Research has shown that Earth could become a completely different planet by 2500. The study, published in Global Change Biology, paints a haunting picture of Earth becoming hostile to its own inhabitants. Their findings revealed that unless greenhouse gas emissions decrease significantly, global warming of 2,500 will render the Amazon rainforests barren, the US Midwest a tropical area, and the Indian subcontinent too hot for be habitable by humans.
Double heat in just 14 years: Scientists from NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in the United States have found that the rate at which the Earth’s atmosphere traps heat has doubled in a recent 14-year period, from 2005 to 2019. If this energy imbalance worsens further in the coming decades, it could lead to more alarming climate changes.
Last attempt to save the glacier: A cloth sheet was used to protect part of the Helags Glacier in northern Sweden over the summer, saved at least 3.5 meters in height from melting, according to organizers of the private initiative , the first of its kind in Scandinavia. Global warming is causing glaciers to shrink all over the world.
We should have listened to it 100 years ago. Is it still possible to slow this behemoth to extinction?
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