- India to face climate crises like sea-level rise, cyclones, floods: IPCC
- Human activity is changing the climate in unprecedented way: Report
- Cities are hotspots of global warming because these trap heat: Report
New Delhi: The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warned the world on Monday (August 9) that global warming is dangerously close to being out of control and humans are to be blamed for it. In its report titled ‘Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis’, IPCC, of which India is one of the 195 members, said that scientists are observing changes in the Earth’s climate in every region and across the whole climate system. It flagged that some of the changes such as continued sea-level rise are irreversible over thousands of years.
Calling the IPCC’s report as a “code red for humanity”, the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said,
If we combine forces now, we can avert climate catastrophe. But, as today’s report makes clear, there is no time for delay and no room for excuses. I count on government leaders and all stakeholders to ensure COP26 (2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference to be held in the city of Glasgow, UK from 31 October to 12 November 2021) is a success.
Here are 10 key takeaways from the IPCC’s Climate Change 2021 report:
- The report says that human activities are the main drivers of unprecedented changes happening to the climate. “It is unequivocal that human influence has warmed the atmosphere, oceans and land,” it said.
- The Earth is becoming warmer sooner and the global rise in temperature is about to hit 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2040, a decade earlier than projected previously, the report flagged. If emissions aren’t slashed in the next few years, this will happen even earlier, it added. The report further said that the past five years have been the hottest on record since 1850.
- The average rate of sea-level rise has nearly tripled in the past century. It has increased from 1.3 millimeters per year in 1901-1971 to 3.7 millimeters per year between 2006-2018, the report stated. It added that this rise will affect both ocean ecosystems and the people that rely on them.
- Hot extremes (including heatwaves) have become more frequent and more intense across most land regions since the 1950s, while cold extremes (including cold waves) have become less frequent and less severe, the report has highlighted. It added that once-in-10-year and once-in-50-year events of extreme heat, heavy rain and droughts will become more frequent and intense.
- The report said that as a consequence of the temperature rise going past 1.5 degrees Celsius, extreme weather events are likely to be of larger magnitude, increased frequency, new locations, different timing, new combinations i.e. two or more extreme events occurring together, heatwave and drought for example.
- Cities are hotspots of global warming because these trap heat and there’s a lack of cooling areas like water and vegetation.
- The report has also flagged that India may face damaging impacts of climate crisis including a glacial retreat in the Himalayas, compounding effects of sea-level rise and intense tropical cyclones leading to flooding, an erratic monsoon, and intense heat stress.
- The Indian Ocean, which includes the Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal, has warmed faster than the global average, according to the IPCC. The oceans factsheet of the panel released on Monday indicates that sea surface temperature over the Indian ocean is likely to increase by about 1 degrees Celsius when there is 1.5 degrees Celsius to 2 degrees Celsius global warming.
- At 1.5 degrees Celsius global warming, heavy precipitation and associated flooding are projected to intensify and be more frequent in most regions in Africa and Asia, the report said.
- Drastic and rapid cuts in carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases only can limit climate change, the IPCC report has said. It added, “Nations have to agree to do this. Even if by some miracle nations agree, when they meet in Glasgow later this year, on immediate, and drastic cuts it could take 20-30 years to see global temperatures stabilize although benefits for air quality would come quickly.”
Commenting on the findings of the IPCC report, Sunita Narain, Director General of Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), a Delhi based non-governmental think thank working on environmental issues said,
There are no ‘maybes’ anymore – the threat is real; dangers are imminent, and the future is catastrophic. This message from the report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) confirms what we already know and can see in the world around us – from wildfires because of extreme heat and moisture loss; to devastating floods because of extreme rain events; and tropical cyclones because of the changing temperatures between the sea and land surface. The future is here, and it should worry us enormously. Indeed, this report, coming as it is from the normally conventional and conformist world of buttoned-up scientists, should scare us into action—real and meaningful. We can no longer lose time in prevarication or in finding new excuses not to act—including empty promises of net zero by 2050.
NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene.
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