Remember the time when we were kids and looked forward to the summer holidays ! It was the most exciting time of the year which was mostly marked by visits to grandparents, a trip with family or just having time to spend time with family enjoying outdoor activities. But come to today’s world where this seems a little difficult and in near future, this might seem like a dream. Reason? Of course, it is the rising temperature of the world. Even now, the thought of summer woes is pretty scary. Forget about spending time outdoors, people get ready by repairing their ACs or Fans to brave the deadliest of heatwaves long before even the summers arrive nowadays. What pains my heart is the sight when little kids are unable to enjoy their childhood as they spend the entire day indoors due to the rising and unbearable temperature thereby childhood dying a slow death.
“Rising heat in the 21st century is likely to push millions of people and entire regions out of their comfort zones,” warned The National Geographic magazine a few months back. The average temperature at the Earth’s surface has risen about 1.1C since 1850. Furthermore, each of the last four decades has been warmer than any that preceded it, since the middle of the 19th Century.
Major factors contributing to this are listed below:
1)Greenhouse gases: The rising emission of greenhouse gasses which acts as a trap to block the sun’s heat in the earth’s atmosphere thereby raising the temperature of the earth is one of the major reasons for global warming.
2) Deforestation: The rising population and the need for space have put major stress on the availability of land. The decrease in forest cover has been rampant and contributes majorly to global warming, untimely floods, and droughts.
3) Increased usage of fertilizers having nitrogen fertilizers containing nitrogen produce nitrous oxide emissions, which increases the warming effect on the Earth’s atmosphere.
4) Increasing carbon footprint of Human beings: The current lifestyle and usage of modern gadgets like refrigerators and ACs, rising trend of vehicles, etc have been the main contributing factor.
5) Fossil fuels: Fossil fuels lead to the emission of greenhouse gases that in turn lead to such rising in temperature. Therefore there is an emphasis on the usage of renewable energy like solar power or wind power.
Real-world observations of these changes match patterns scientists expect to see with human-induced warming. They include:
- The Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets melting rapidly
- The number of weather-related disasters has increased by a factor of five over 50 years
- Global sea levels rose 20cm (8ins) in the last century and are still rising
- Since the 1800s, the oceans have become about 40% more acid, affecting marine life
There are many conferences like the Paris Agreement & recently the COP26 global climate summit (held in Glasgow in November) where all the countries come together and resolve parameters that can help mitigate this challenge. But as long as we the common people do not understand and realize the importance of bringing in a conscious effort to change our lifestyle, nothing will change. Planting more trees and an effort towards zero-waste production while simplifying the lifestyle that helps us stay in harmony with nature paves the way towards a sustainable existence should be every individual’s motto.
The message here is that we are not only inhabitants of this planet but we bear a very big responsibility of preserving this planet for future generations to come at least the way we got it when we arrived here if not better! But the question is are we ready to bear a little discomfort and pledge to do our bit towards a greater goal? Are we ready to lead by example to lessen the usage of products that are a threat to the environment and slowly indulge in choices that are eco-friendly? The choice that we make today will impact the future and the entire fate of this blue planet, that is our only home. But the choice has to be made quickly because if not now then when? Maybe with our conscious effort, the summer and the summer vacations will again be a celebrated event in every kid’s life just like ours!
Let’s do our little bits!