Climate change is a reality that is happening now, and that we can see its impact across the world.
Climate change is a very hot and trendy topic in the world now, but most people don’t even know the causes and effects on the environment. What do you think about when you hear climate change? Did anyone ever wonder why there is so much instability in the world’s weather recently? For me, personally, I have seen a lot of changes in the weather in the last few years which has become so scary but before I go too deep into my perspectives, I will like to explain what climate change is - at least as I see it.
Climate change is any significant long-term change in the expected patterns of average weather of a region (or the whole Earth) over a significant period of time. Climate change is about abnormal variations to the climate and the effects of these variations on other parts of the Earth. While this temperature increase is more specifically referred to as global warming, climate change is the term currently favoured by science communicators, as it explicitly includes not only Earth's increasing global average temperature, but also the climate effects caused by this increase.
Climate change is a reality that is happening now, and that we can see its impact across the world. During the last few years, we humans have done more harm than good to the environment by releasing a large amount of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. Climate change is impacting human lives and health in a variety of ways. It threatens the essential ingredients of good health - clean air, safe drinking water, nutritious food supply, and safe shelter - and has the potential to undermine decades of progress in global health.
According to the World Health Organization, between 2030 and 2050, climate change is expected to cause approximately 250 000 additional deaths per year, from malnutrition, malaria, diarrhoea and heat stress alone. The direct damage costs to health are estimated to be between USD 2-4 billion per year by 2030. Let’s take the Australia bush fire incident for example, this reflects previous predictions of Australian science. Since 2008 and as recently as 2018, scientific bodies have warned that climate change will exacerbate existing conditions for fires and other climatic disasters in Australia. What used to be once-in-a-generation fires now re-appear within 10–15 years with increased ferocity, over longer seasons.
Effect of climate change on agriculture
Agricultural production is sensitive to weather and thus directly affected by climate change. Plausible estimates of these climate change impacts require the combined use of climate, crop, and economic models. Climate change threatens food security, Has the potential to undermine advances in poverty reduction and sustainable development. It will greatly affect the health and productivity of crops, livestock, fish and forests, and dependent rural livelihoods and it will increase hunger and malnutrition, particularly in Southern Africa and South Asia.
You expect serious extremes of drought and floods. The drought comes with extremely high temperatures, which kill the crops, as well as deny livestock their feeds because these all die. High temperatures (global warming) also cause heat stress on the livestock and they die. Extreme floods also lead to mass deaths and the displacement of livestock and crops.
The crops become flooded and become uprooted or die due to a lack of soil aeration. The nutrient balance also interferes with the soils during the flood season. The general effects of climate change are adverse on agriculture and likely to lead to a catastrophic food crisis.
The question now is, Can we stop climate change? Yes, we can stop these climatic changes but for that, every one of us has to come forward and has to adapt ways that can reduce and control our environmentally unfriendly practices. We have to raise awareness of these climatic changes.
Picture credit: Jens Schlueter/Getty Images Europe