As torrents flood
The result? Global warming. Our planet is heating up at an alarming rate due to green gas emissions adding to the “invisible blanket of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases” leading to dire consequences, of which weather extremes are only one manifestation. In the face of such unpredictability, it is time all of us, as citizens of nature, take up its liability and examine the affects of global warming on our ecosystems and lives. Be warned though, this is one introspection that is bound to be guilt inducing.
Scientists all over the world have renewed their urgent pleas for nations (and by extension their inhabitants) to do more to stop this catastrophic climate change after a huge slab of ice calved from the Petermann glacier off the north-west coast of Greenland this month. There are however, many of you who will probably wonder how you’ve played any part in that happening or why it even matters. Well, each one of us travels by car/bus burning fuel and releasing gases into the air, we all live in houses built on land cleared by cutting trees or on a smaller scale, use deodorants with CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons) and I could go on and on. As a result of the build up of these gases and less vegetation to absorb the carbon dioxide, the temperature of the earth is indelibly rising causing polar ice caps and glaciers to melt.
This in turn is leading to water levels increasing and flooding in many parts of the world. Moreover, warm air is known to carry and absorb more moisture thereby parching land and crops followed by intense rain such as the ongoing monsoons in
Critics of global warming however believe that these extremes are not a consequence of climate change but rather are incidents of erratic weather and are fairly normal. The distinction being that the climate is an average trend whilst the weather varies from day to day and hence is unexpected and generally irregular. Therefore, there are several supporters of the view that these natural disasters can in no way be scientifically proven to be caused by human-driven warming and neither are they in any way prophetic signs of impending doom. Regardless of which camp you belong to or what explanations you may lean towards, there is no denying that the average temperature of the earth is slowly increasing with June 2010 being the hottest June since 1880.
Considering the urgency of the situation then one would expect world leaders to be scrambling to devise strategies to reduce greenhouse gases and promote environmentally friendly industrial policies- the cost of not doing so is simply too high, both in material and human terms. Unfortunately, this is not the case.
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