What are we doing to our ‘Home’?

It might seem as an abstract question but it is more relevant than anytime in the history of mankind or the existence of the planet.

Planet Earth (Our Home)

The meeting held by IPCC(Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) has released its report which is pretty damning.

IPCC based in Geneva

The excerpt of the report is as follows:

Climate change widespread, rapid, and intensifying

IPCC (Aug 9th, 2021)

Reasons for Acceleration

Emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities are responsible for approximately 1.1°C of warming since 1850-1900, and finds that averaged over the next 20 years, global temperature is expected to reach or exceed 1.5°C of warming. This assessment is based on improved observational datasets to assess historical warming, as well progress in scientific understanding of the response of the climate system to human-caused greenhouse gas emissions.

Polar Warning: Even Antarctica's Coldest Region Is Starting to Melt - Yale  E360
Polar Ice Caps Melting dur to Global Warming

“Climate change is already affecting every region on Earth, in multiple ways. The changes we experience will increase with additional warming,”

IPCC Working Group I Co-Chair Panmao Zhai

Possible Outcome of the Accelerated Global Warming

Climate change is bringing multiple changes in different regions that will aggravate the situation further thereby further increasing warming. These changes experienced in different parts of the world can be stated as follows:

  • Intensifying the water cycle
    • More intense rainfall and associated flooding, as well as more intense drought in many regions
When Drought Threatens Crops: NASA's Role in Famine Warnings – Climate  Change: Vital Signs of the Planet
Droughts due to Climate Change
Projected sea level rise
Sea Level Rising in some places leading to Flooding

  • Affecting on rainfall patterns
    • High latitudes, precipitation is likely to increase, while it is projected to decrease over large parts of the subtropics. Changes to monsoon precipitation are expected, which will vary by region
Why extreme rains are gaining strength as the climate warms
Present Trajectory: Heavy Rains(based on increased precipitation)

  • Sea level rise throughout the 21st century in coastal areas thereby causing
    • Frequent and severe coastal flooding in low-lying areas and coastal erosion
    • Extreme sea level events(which used to occur once in 100 years) every year by the end of this century
The World's Cities After Global Sea-Level Rise - YouTube
Sea Level Rising due to Human Activities

  • Global Warming will increase permafrost thawing, and the loss of seasonal snow cover, melting of glaciers and ice sheets, and loss of summer Arctic sea ice and thereby lead to the following changes
    • Warming, more frequent marine heatwaves, ocean acidification, and reduced oxygen levels have been clearly linked to human influence.
    • Changes will affect both ocean ecosystems and the people that rely on them
    • These affects will continue throughout the rest of this century (at least)
Temperature Experienced by the different parts of the world based on our current trajectory

  • Affect on cities
    • Amplification in heat (since urban areas are usually warmer than their surroundings), flooding from heavy precipitation events and sea level rise in coastal cities
U.S. map of common regional heatwave patterns across the contiguous U.S.  with a graph below showing the projected rising contribution of global warming to extreme heatwave
Heat wave situation in North America through the 21st Century

What can we do as our home is in danger?

Here are some steps that we can undertake to reduce the carbon footprint at an individual level.

Practice Sustainability
Source: Sustainability at UCLA

Avoid Single Use Items
  • Straws
  • Bottles & Bottle Caps
  • Lid on Take-Away Cup
  • Carry & Grocery bags (made of thin plastic < 0.45 micron)
  • MLP(Multi-Layer Plastic) used to pack food, chips, perishable items etc.
  • Plastic Cutlery etc.
  • Aluminum Foils
Reduce Plastic Waste
Reasons to Avoid Single Use Plastic (SUP)
Limit Plastic to Essentials

Substitute wherever feasible content that uses any more of plastic with materials like metal, cardboard, glass etc.

9 ways to reduce plastic in your workplace - Less Plastic
Limit Plastic Use & Spread Awareness
Re-use Materials

Do not discard garments after their use. Repurpose them for

  • Bags, pouches, storage etc.
  • Face Masks
  • Oven Mittens etc.
  • Gloves to stave off frost bite
8 Sustainable & Ethical Winter Gloves to Fight Fast Fashion & Frostbite
Re-use of Old Garments

Transportation
  • Use Public Transport
  • Pool Vehicle
  • Walk/Bike(Bicycle) to nearby places

Sustainable transport - Waverley Council
Ways to reduce Carbon Footprint

Global warming limit of 1.5°C may be breached by 2040

IPCC (Aug 9th, 2021)

Despite disparity being there between the developed, developing and underdeveloped world, we have to understand that we one ‘Earth’ and if we do not do the needful then we are doomed as a race along with other species that will go down as ‘Collateral Damage’.

Climate change: Floods and droughts more frequent as Arctic ice melts,  expert warns | Science | News | Express.co.uk
Polar Bear: Victim of Habitat Damage due to Polar Ice Melting

References:

  1. https://www.ipcc.ch/2021/08/09/ar6-wg1-20210809-pr/
  2. https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/climate-change/global-warming-limit-of-1-5-c-may-be-breached-by-2040-says-new-ipcc-report-78355
  3. https://www.climate.gov/news-features/features/antarctica-colder-arctic-it%E2%80%99s-still-losing-ice
  4. https://www.climate.gov/news-features/featured-images/influence-global-warming-us-heat-waves-may-be-felt-first-west-and
  5. https://www.carbonbrief.org/explainer-what-climate-models-tell-us-about-future-rainfall
  6. https://ifurtado.org/future-climate-change/
  7. https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-018-07447-1
  8. https://www.sustainablejungle.com/sustainable-fashion/sustainable-ethical-winter-gloves/
  9. https://indianexpress.com/article/india/ipcc-report-india-asia-climate-change-heat-waves-cyclones-7445511/
  10. https://www.lessplastic.org.uk/9-ways-to-reduce-plastic-in-your-workplace/
  11. https://www.herplanetearth.com/reduce-plastic-waste.html
  12. https://www.waverley.nsw.gov.au/environment/sustainable_transport

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