Author: Wajeeha Fiaz

Its alarming as Blue turns to black

The existence of water on earth brought life on planet earth. The presence of water on the planet makes earth distinctive and make it able to sustain life due to its unique chemistry. About 70% of earth surface covered with water and is home to diverse range of species and sustain fragile as well as robust ecosystems. Let’s talk about the importance of water on land, as we think about land the first thing came to our mind is the human being than animals and plants.so water is considered to be fundamental need of all living being. Water gave rise to first civilization, farmers rely on water for their agricultural activities so they get access to the reservoir of water via irrigation system and meet with countries food needs by producing cereal as well as contributes in generating countries revenue by growing cash crops. Let’s makes a long story short if the water is the basic necessity of life then why a significant number of people are deprived of enjoying the taste of pure water why they don’t have access to crystal clear water.

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Each human needs about 20 liters of water a day for the basics like washing, cooking and drinking. But there are numerous  places around the world where people get five liters of water or less to live on .the countries like Africa specifically Eastern Africa. In china, the water is becoming a next big issue after air pollution.in Pakistan Thar is a region that was the victim of droughts since three years even people locked the pitchers in order to avoid theft of water.

Why is it so, some places have the little amount of water or what will be the situation in future. Would we have access to the single drop of water or not?  According to some experts, 1.6 billion people have more access to clear drinking water than twenty years ago. It’s mean more proportion of population around the world must enjoy the sweetness of crystal clear water but the situation is completely opposite. Let’s find out the reason, the growing population, industrial activities and climate change are the main drivers of water scarcity. As our earth gets warmer, more rainfall is being expected because warm air can hold more moisture so as a result weather pattern shifts, the regions that receive less rainfall now may have more rainfall. For examples the countries like southern Europe and Northern Africa and some parts of Australia will receive less rainfall, on the other hand, the countries like India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh during the season monsoon may receive heavy rainfall that leads to more runoff or floods that eventually meet up into a saline water and become useless. As the earth surface getting warm day by day, it stimulate the glacier melting and increase precipitation rate around the globe resulting in more floods as water evaporates from the deep soil layers leading to desert like condition or accelerate droughts, on the other hand growing population adds as farmers pumped more water to produce more crops in order to meet food requirements so the extraction or consumption of ground fresh water is beyond permissible limits other the factor that adds to this devastating activity is urbanization as we are trying to  develop gigantic  infrastructure and paved our muddy path and turned them into lustrous and wide highways eventually ends up with no infiltration of rainwater that is the major source of ground water. Scarcity has resulted from the difference between the rate of recharging and extraction of ground water. The other biggest reason that depletes the existing treasures is the industrial activities that not only contaminate the rivers but also gives rise to many serious health effects, so ultimately the blue water become useless as it turns into a black colored hazardous water of no value. The scarcity of water resources getting serious after every single day passes.     As we taken into account the current scenario, we can say that the prediction of future conflicts on water scarcity may have higher probabilities to become true.

The developed countries can find many ways to cope up with this water shortage as by installing desalination plants but in developing countries, the consequences are proving to be profound. Try to conserve it and Make sure that every single drop of water should be used up in a righteous way because tiny blue droplet which is not important for u today may become as precious and expensive  as diamond tomorrow so think about it?

Author: Shamim Mukhtar

Dirty Grey Sky Puts Tears in My Eyes

“Yay! Winters are coming; “fog” is all around”, yelled in excitement with “environmental” thoughts.  On November 03, 2016, I woke up to witness a thick fog descending the area, blocking the sunlight, and the vision. First I got excited but when I started to ponder over it and seen the tribulations it is causing, I realized it’s not the winter fog coming around every winter, it is something else.

The cause of air pollution in Lahore – smog or fog? I shall call it air pollution rather than fog or smog, which seems ambivalent. There is no solid evidence that whether is it from India, where 32 million tons (30 billion kg) of leftover straw has been burnt by Indian farmers or is it from high levels of “fires and thermal anomalies” in Pakistan.

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Wherever the cause has raised either from us or the other side of a border, the impact is global. Although there will never be a shortage of doubters, the scientific evidence is overwhelming that humans have impacted the planet, particularly over the last few millennia, like no other species ever has. It’s not only the climate that’s changed but the oceans, atmosphere, freshwater, land use and even the plants and animals that can’t survive and thrive in such environment.

“Prevention is better than cure.”  But what if we don’t know the root cause of the disease, then how to prevent and further cure the disease. Why I call it air pollution and not smog or fog?  “The international definition of fog consists of a suspended collection of water droplets or ice crystal near the Earth’s surface that lead to a reduction of horizontal visibility below 1km” (National Ocean And Atmospheric Administration, 1995) and Sulfurous smog, which is also called “London smog,” results from a high concentration of sulfur oxides in the air and is caused by the use of sulfur-bearing fossil fuels, particularly coal. And smog doesn’t vanish in days, it takes at least months or rain shower to dilute. Some people also called this fog with a suspended particulate matter.

Complex ecosystems and food chains in the environment provide unlimited services for the support of life. In the absence of damage, the environment is very efficient in self-stability through the complex interaction of living species. Humans benefit by being part of this ecosystem. Any harmful alteration by anthropogenic activities can give global impacts as can be seen as climate change and irreversible changes. The more we damage the environment, the worst and unforeseen the consequence will be.

The only human doesn’t hold the right, every another organism has equal rights to being the residents of mother earth.  So what is vital to stop pollution? The main thing is what we have done afterward, after facing the consequences of our deed, the harm caused by our activities and impact on us, now taking precautions is not enough. There is a need for awareness, and that awareness can only be designed by the government to fully implemented stage. Like OXFAM is working on the campaign “Fight against climate change for food justice!” And everyone should be a signatory of that campaign not only the students but all the public because, at the end of the pipe, there are our children playing in the river of effluents.

 

Author: Arooj Kamran

Unseen force behind rising food price

We usually get a sneaking suspicion every time we go to shop for groceries (fruits, vegetables). Food generally costs more than it did a year ago. Global food production is struggling to keep pace with rise in demand for commodities. This leads to increase in price of commodities.

Government and consumer are decrying about the steady increase in food prices. However many groups of NGOs are taking a hard look at some of the factors that contribute to linkage of increase in commodity price and climate change.

Climate Change has environmental and socioeconomic outcomes for agriculture. There is change in quality and availability of land, soil and water resources. This later reflects in crop performance which causes price to rise. Conditions of climate change force farmers to continually adapt their agricultural productions particularly in decline or rise in water availability.

Primary and Secondary data sources believe that climate change has been attributed to greater inconsistencies in agricultural condition. It ranges from erratic flood and drought cycles to longer growing seasons. This impacts the supply in market of food commodities to be less as compared to before, leading to increase in demand and prices. Rising food cost impacts every person across the globe. It diminishes the ability of millions of families to meet the other essential needs.

The truth is that we will probably not be able to stop the climate change to any significant degree to bring the food yields to what we need. The biggest concern is probably in developing countries that rely more on grains. We may need to find different ways to grow the grains we need to supply the growth in population. Maybe developing controlled environment grow houses that can grow all year long will help. These would also help with employment. It will be interesting to see how this unfolds.

Author: Hassan Nawaz

How climate change effects Livestock

While crops could be impacted by climate change, it is likely that farm animals would be even more susceptible to changes in the climate.

Temperature Increases

It is expected that increased air temperatures will cause more stress on livestock. Both humans and livestock are warm-blooded animals, so both are affected by increased heat and humidity. During stifling heat, livestock reproduction declines as well as their appetite. Decreased appetite will lengthen the time needed for the livestock to reach their target weight (most animals only eat about half of normal quantities when they are heat-stressed). Stress can also increase the incidence of sickness, decrease rates of reproduction, and increase fighting among animals in confinement. In some areas, night-time temperatures are even more above average than daytime temperatures during heat-waves, which has resulted in increased mortality rates. Despite the warmer winter temperatures, global warming could have a negative overall impact upon livestock.

Feed Quality

As indicated above, increased carbon dioxide may result in feed and forage that is less nutritious even if there is more of it. It is likely that growers would be forced to use feed additives in order to see the expected growth gains in livestock, and to avoid illnesses. This increased cost to the grower would result in increased food costs to the consumer. Availability could also decrease if there is not enough water and nutrients in stressed soils to keep up with plant growth.

Disease

Insect parasites and diseases could also become more prolific as global warming progresses. New diseases may also emerge in the Southeast that were once considered to inhabit only tropical areas. It is expected that in cases of increased heat stress and humidity, most livestock will not be able to fight these diseases without the use of costly medicines.

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