A recent report from the UN warns that people are running out of time to avoid the destruction of large scale due to global warming. As per the UN reports, there is a lot of evidence are there that many people across the globe are facing floods, extreme temperatures, droughts, wildfires. On 9th August, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change clarifies that global warming will continue to grow over the coming decades. As a result of human inaction to curb greenhouse gas emissions, extreme weather events will worsen.
As per the UN, extreme weather is becoming more frequent and intense; prolonged droughts are happenings, the sea level is rising, many animals and plants are becoming extinct. Climate change includes global warming caused by greenhouse gas emissions induced by humans and shifts in weather patterns because of these emissions. Since the mid 20th century, there is a never before impact on Earth’s climate system and caused change on a global scale.
The main reason for warmer climates is the emission of gases that creates greenhouse effects. In the greenhouse effect, more than 90% are methane and carbon dioxide. The burning of fossil fuel for energy consumption is the primary source of these emissions, including contributions for manufacturing, deforestation, agriculture. The temperature rise on land is about twice the global average increase leading to wildlife fires, heatwaves, and expansion of deserts. In the Arctic, the region’s temperature has also risen in recent times leading to melting glaciers. The warmer temperatures have increased the rate of evaporation, causing more weather extremes and intense storms. WHO has called these climate changes the greatest threat to human health in the 21st century.
The new assignment has been complied with by 234 scientists and based on more than 14,000 recent studies. The scientists concluded that human activity is mainly responsible for a rise in average global temperatures of 1.1 degrees Celsius. According to climate scientist Valérie Masson-Delmotte in a press conference on Monday said: “If we reduce emissions to net-zero by 2050, we can keep temperatures close to 1.5C.”
Unless immediate, rapid, and large-scale reductions are made in greenhouse gas emissions, limiting warming to 1.5C will be difficult, said Ko Barrett, a senior adviser for climate at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and vice-chair of the IPCC.
Ways to fight climate change –
Eating less meat – IPCC recommended in 2019 that human beings should switch to a less meat-based diet. If less meat is eaten, then for cattle grazing, less deforestation will happen, and the amount of carbon dioxide emitted will be less. Methane is produced by cows, another potent greenhouse gas that is contributing to climate change.
Using energy efficiently – One must install a programmable thermostat in the house. Instead of a gas stove, use the electric stove to reduce indoor pollution—unplugging electronic devices when not in use. Use energy-sufficient light bulbs at home.
Reduce food waste – According to a report, roughly one-third of all food produced worldwide is wasted. In the process of food productions, lots of emissions are there, and when waste food is thrown into the land, methane gas is formed. Reducing wastage of food can reduce greenhouse emissions by 6 to 8 %.
Energy alternatives – Fossil fuel alternatives have recently increased, including solar panels, wind turbines, electric vehicles, etc. Researches have found that the usage of fossil fuels reduces greenhouse gas emissions. The local and state governments are making contact efforts to stabilize the price of alternative energy, and the use of these energies is increasing in numbers.
Invest in energy-efficient appliances – Efficiency standards for many devices have been fixed in recent years and have helped keep 2.3 billion tons of carbon dioxide out of the air. The lowest cost way to reduce emission is by using energy-efficient. While shopping for electric appliances, one must look for the energy star level, indicating energy efficiency.
Reduce water waste – By saving water, one can reduce carbon emissions too because it takes a lot of energy to heat, pump, and retreat water. One must turn off the tap while brushing one’s teeth and take a shorter shower. WaterSense level appliances and fixtures one must start using to save water.
Planting trees – Trees help in removing excess carbon dioxide from the atmosphere by the process of photosynthesis. Deforestation should be stopped. A 2019 study by the Crowther Lab at ETH University in Zurich suggests that the worst effects of climate change could have been preventing by humans by planting forests roughly double the size of the US.
Reducing flying – Plane travels account for upwards of 4% of US greenhouse gas emissions. UN has projected that carbon emissions from airplanes will triple worldwide by 2050. Most of the US flights have pledged to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
Drive fuel-efficient vehicles – Use more hybrid and electric cars, which in turn saves money and fuel. Carbon emissions are reduced by using such vehicles.
Weatherize – 25 to 30% of home heating and cooling is lost due to wrong windows at home, said US Department of Energy. Poor insulation, leaky roofs, drafty doors add to energy loss. The use of energy-efficient material and another flexible upgrading to weatherization can reduce the risk to climate.
Use LEDs – Good LED bulbs can last 25% longer and use 75% less energy than other bulbs. In the US, over the next ten years, more usage of these bulbs could save the equivalent annual electrical output of about 348 TWh.
Washcloths in cold water – Laundry is still washed in warm water by most people in the US, which affects the environment. About 75% of greenhouse emissions and total energy use is produced by a single load of laundry come from warming the water itself.
Upcycling furniture and recycling clothes – This can be environmentally friendly and innovative. Furniture made of recycled material could be used. According to research, about 80 pounds of cloth a year is thrown by average Americans. The environmental cost of manufacturing new clothes is too high. Old clothes can be recycled to make something new.
Capture rainwater – If one lives in an apartment, rainwater can still be captured to save water and cool streets. Usage of rainwater for various purposes can be an excellent way to take of the environment.
Adjust the thermostat – One must adjust the thermostat to run 2 degrees warmer in the summer and 2 degrees cooler in winter. The difference will not be much, but the energy-saving will be high.
Use less bottled water – 2 million tons of plastic bottles are there in landfills. And 1.5 million barrels of oil are used to manufacture water bottles every year. These bottles take more than 1000 years to biodegrade.
Less usage of plastics bags – Plastic bags are not suitable for the environment. It takes around 100 years to break down and pollutes waterways and soil. One of the leading causes of marine death in recent times is due to plastic waste. Use bags made of other materials rather than plastics.
The government to take actions related to climate change – The country’s government should plan for effective emission reduction so that 1.5 C warming is not surpassed. Stronger legal accountability to ensure current and subsequent governments follow on their comments.