Climate Change and the Deadly Man-Made Disasters

The Earth has a blanket of atmospheric gases around it, and among them, the green house gases are responsible for global climate change, and warming of earth.  The Greenhouse gases in the atmosphere trap a lot of heat which would otherwise escape to space, keeping the earth warmer than it would otherwise be and the main contributor is carbon which is released mainly from burning of fossil fuels. Weather and climate have a profound influence on life on earth. They affect landforms, soil types, vegetation and humans as well. Earth’s climate is not static. Since its formation, earth’s climate was changing due to the natural drivers of climate change. However, the human activities in the post-industrialization era resulted in increases of radiatively active gases in the atmosphere leading to increase in global mean surface air temperature. Anthropogenic induced climate change is a cause of great concern due its potential impact on environment. The environmental indicators and instrumental records are essential for deciphering the past and present climate. As regards the present climate, the human population is one of the major driving factors of ecological footprints and is also responsible for the increasing rate of manmade disasters. The humans not only increase the concentration of global warming potent gases but also contribute to other anthropogenic drivers of climate change like change in land-use and increase in aerosol level that directly lead global climate change and disasters. The disproportionate increase in population resulted in far many times difficulty in managing resource depletion and global warming. The global climate change is responsible for extinction of many species which were not able to respond and mitigate and all the living biota are vulnerable to global climate change. The situation is quite alarming given the fact that the earth has witnessed an increase of 0.74 degree Celsius temperature in the last century. It has also been projected that the climate change could alter the frequency and intensity of forest disturbances such as insect outbreak, invasion of exotic species, wild forest fires and severe storms. The wild fires in Australia last year was one among the worst human induced disaster in modern times. These fires killed or replaced nearly 3 billion wild species although it was very difficult number to comprehend.  The main reason behind the habitat loss and species extinction is the worsening droughts and gradual increase in average temperature of earth. It has been predicted that Change in average temperature is alarming and is projected to rise a further 2 to 3 degree Celsius by the end of the 21st century. The impact of global climate change is worsening and getting out of control and it includes, melting of glaciers at very faster rates, floods, aquatic life extinctions, droughts, coral bleaching, ocean acidification and wildfires. The factors are responsible for many manmade disasters like recently in the northern state of India Uttarakhand, where glacier burst washed away the human lives, wildlife and the settlements as well. The construction of dams in such fragile and sensitive areas always add to the destruction and losses. The presence of Himalayan Mountains, the demography of India made it vulnerable to more and more seismic activities and to build dams in such fragile ecosystems is always disastrous. The construction of dams like in “UJH” kathua district of Jammu province may be also disastrous in future. while the project is underway and have still provision to abandon as this project effects the biodiversity at larger scale and billions of the species will lost its habitat and should face extinctions directly or indirectly by unseasonal migrations and  new adaptations. This hydroelectric power project need to cut down 21,4502 innocent trees, while Supreme court of India recently added the value of a tree around 72 lakhs on the basis of its services and benefits and it is hard to comprehend the value of biodiversity in UJH of Kathua district that needs to be cleared for an unsustainable development. The authorities include Central pollution control board and State pollution control board should go for reconsideration regarding environmental clearance with a rigorous study on the impacts and mitigation measures and if it goes the same way another kedarnath and  will be repeated with more destruction and irreparable losses in the adjacent areas as well.

The glaciers of Jammu and Kashmir are receding at alarming level due to climate change. The shrinkage and eventual disappearance of glaciers in the mountain region exhibit impacts in the form of changes in glacier fed river characteristics and occurrence of glacier lake outburst floods while majority of the rivers Jammu and Kashmir are glacier fed and if glacier lake outburst phenomenon occurred it could have the worst and deadly impact on the biodiversity of the region. The increase in consumerism and change in the lifestyle have put additional burden on natural resources and lead to irreversible global climate change. The climate change impacted the biodiversity of India at border level like delayed monsoons and reduction in yield and ultimately to the food scarcity.  The climate change will not only effect the biodiversity but will also add diseases in wild. There is still time to mitigate the climate change by reducing our ecological footprints, by using non-conventional sources of energy, by afforestation and reforestation, by sustainable developments, by reducing pollution and by improving the green cover. If we still don’t wake up and take the responsibility to help earth in cooling, it will reach the threshold and the whole system will collapse certainly.

Author is founder of Northern Conservancy for Sustainable Future