Climate change, a world issue

Climate change, a world issue

It’s May. And the temperature is unquestionably troubling, not only in the metropolis but in other parts of the archipelago republic.

Many have started talking once more about global warming, which refers to the increase in average global temperature since the Industrial Revolution, with the average global temperature increasing by about one degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) since 1880.

Experts have said this global warming is a continuing process, with scientists expecting the average global temperature to rise an additional 0.3 to 0.7 degrees Celsius (0.54–1.26 degrees Fahrenheit) through 2035.

Certain gases, like carbon dioxide and methane, trap the sun’s heat in Earth’s atmosphere, according to scientists.

These greenhouse gases (GHGs) exist naturally in the atmosphere and help keep the Earth’s surface warm enough to sustain life.

Without greenhouse gases, the average temperature on Earth would be zero degrees Fahrenheit, instead of today’s roughly 58.3 degrees Fahrenheit or 14.611°C .

Human activities, particularly the burning of fossil fuels (i.e., coal, natural gas, and oil) to power vehicles, factories, and homes, release carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

But other activities, including deforestation – or the slash and burn technique or what Tagalogs call the kaingin system or what the Ilocanos describe as panagpuor kadagiti bambantay – and raising livestock, also emit greenhouse gases.

Is the Philippines, a nation of 110 million people plus, affected by the global warming issue?

It is.

The Germanwatch institute, an independent development and environmental NGO, based in Bonn and Berlin and founded in 1991, presented in Madrid the results of the Global Climate Risk Index 2020 during COP25 – the 2019 United Nations Climate Change Conference.

According to this analysis, based on the impacts of extreme weather events and the socio-economic losses they cause, Japan, the Philippines and Germany are the most affected places by climate change today.

Germanwatch aims to exert influence on public policy regarding environmental protection as well as relations between countries in the Global North and South.

The COP25 was the 25th United Nations Climate Change conference from December 2 to 13, 2019 under the presidency of the Chilean government.

Higher concentrations of these greenhouse gases in the atmosphere trap more heat on Earth, causing an anthropogenic (i.e., human-caused) rise in global temperatures.

Climate scientists agree that human activity is the main driver behind the global warming we are experiencing.

In discussions, the terms climate change and global warming are often used interchangeably, but climate change broadly refers to persistent changes in average weather (e.g., temperature, precipitation, humidity, wind, atmospheric pressure, ocean temperature, etc.) while global warming narrowly refers to a rise in the Earth’s average global temperature.

Climate change can refer to natural fluctuations in the Earth’s average temperature throughout geologic time, between cold periods (glacial periods, known as ice ages) and warm periods (interglacial periods).

The climate change we are currently experiencing, however, is caused by human activity.

Scientists have concluded that, over the last 50 years, the Earth’s surface should have been cooling slightly based on natural factors, like solar intensity and volcano activity.

However, the increased burning of fossil fuels has led to global warming – and at a significantly faster rate than at any time over the last 800,000 years.

Some ask what the impact is of climate change.

Scientists say the rise in average global temperatures because of human activities has many impacts on the planet, including more intense and frequent droughts and storms, melting glaciers and ice sheets, rising sea levels, warming oceans, and ocean acidification.

People around the world are already feeling the impact of climate change on the environment.

At the same time, changing weather patterns can ruin crops and cause serious water shortages, and rising sea levels are threatening low-lying islands and coastal cities.

Tropical and insect-borne diseases are spreading as their hosts move into new habitats that were previously too cold for them to survive.

It is a truism, according to scientists, that climate change represents a significant threat to the health and well-being of human societies, especially in communities that lack resources and are therefore ill-equipped to deal with the effects of a warmer climate.

(AI/MTVN)

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