Resilience is also a challenge

One of the biggest challenges to climate action is not only understanding the risks of flooding, extreme heat and other challenges but how your community might respond to these risks. What are its strengths? How might policymakers augment existing capacities and address weaknesses?

Peoples’ everyday well-being, the spaces they live in, the work they do, their potential to cope with increasing and varied challenges, and their aspirations for secure and equitable living environments are important to the success of any resilience strategy. Resilience is a continuous process, and communities and individuals are already adapting every day. The important question for planners is whether resilience actions at the wider city, state or national level are enhancing local knowledge and capacities – or constraining them.

Climate Change

What is climate change?

Earth’s atmosphere is made up of oxygen, a large amount of nitrogen and a small percentage of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide and methane.

Greenhouse gases act like a blanket around the Earth. They trap warmth from the sun and make life on Earth possible. Without them, too much heat would escape and the surface of the planet would freeze. However, increasing the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere causes the Earth to heat more and the climate to change.

This process is often called global warming, but it is better to think of it as climate change. This is because it is likely to change other aspects of climate as well as temperature, and also bring about more extreme climate events such as floods, storms, cyclones and droughts.

Multiple lines of evidence show climate change is happening

There is lots of evidence that tells us the average temperatures of the world’s atmosphere and oceans have increased over the past 150 years.

The evidence includes:

  • direct temperature measurements on land
  • changes in the dates when lakes and rivers freeze and their ice melts
  • a reduction in the extent of snow cover in the Northern Hemisphere
  • a reduction in glaciers
  • extended growing seasons of plants
  • changes in the heat stored in the ocean
  • changes in rainfall patterns resulting in more floods, droughts and intense rain.

A number of biological changes have also been observed.

These include:

  • shifts in the ranges of some plant and animal species
  • earlier timing of spring events such as leaf-unfolding, bird migration and egg-laying for some species.

Together these indicators provide clear evidence that the climate is changing.

It is extremely likely that humans are the dominant cause of recent warming

It is true that climate change has been driven by natural causes in the past. Our climate has changed over millions of years — from ice ages to tropical heat and back again. Natural changes over the past 10,000 years have generally been gradual. This has enabled people, plants and animals to adapt or migrate. , However, some prehistoric climate changes may have been abrupt and are likely to have led to mass extinction of species.

Over the past 150 years there has been a marked and growing increase in greenhouse gas producing activities such as industry, agriculture and transportation. These human-induced activities are increasing the level of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere and causing the Earth to heat up at an unprecedented rate. This recent warming can only be explained by the influence of humans.

The levels of carbon dioxide and methane in the atmosphere are increasing

Human activities have caused carbon dioxide and methane in the atmosphere to increase to the highest levels in at least 800,000 years.

We know this from a number of ice core studies. Snow traps tiny bubbles of air as it falls and is compressed into ice. Over the years, more and more ice layers stack up on top of each other. Drilling into ice sheets in Antarctica and Greenland provides a record of what the atmosphere was like back in time.

Direct measurements of atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases show how our global greenhouse gas emissions have grown in past decades.

These analyses prove that today’s greenhouse gas concentrations are far higher than they were at any time during the past 800,000 years

The Earth’s temperature is changing at a rate unprecedented in recent history

Globally, our climate has been relatively stable for the past 10,000 years. If the world does not take action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the global average temperature is very likely to change more rapidly during the 21st century than as a result of any natural variations over the past 10,000 years. This will make it difficult for plants and animals to adapt to climate change.

The effects of climate change will continue even after emissions are reduced

The climate system is very complex, and takes a long time to change. As a result, the effects of climate change will continue even if we reduce emissions now. For example, the deep oceans take centuries to heat up when the atmosphere above them warms. This means that oceans will continue to heat up, and therefore expand causing sea-levels to rise, even if greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere are no longer increasing. Although we cannot avoid climate change entirely, reducing our emissions can limit its impact.

Future climate change

How the climate will change in the future largely depends on the total sum of greenhouse gases emitted since the start of the industrial revolution. Greenhouse gas emissions have continued to increase over past decades and limiting climate change will mean reversing this trend. Future climate change also depends on how the Earth responds to the increased heating. So we cannot be precise about future climate change. But we are generally sure of the direction of change (eg, the world will become warmer and global average sea-levels will rise).

It is predicted that without additional efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the Earth’s surface temperatures will increase between 3.7°C and 4.8°C by 2100, relative to the average temperature from 1850-1900. However, if we reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 to 70 per cent by 2050, the average warming is likely to stay below 2°C

Evidence that Climate Change is happening

The Earth’s climate has changed throughout history. Just in the last 650,000 years there have been seven cycles of glacial advance and retreat, with the abrupt end of the last ice age about 7,000 years ago marking the beginning of the modern climate era — and of human civilization. Most of these climate changes are attributed to very small variations in Earth’s orbit that change the amount of solar energy our planet receives.

The current warming trend is of particular significance because most of it is extremely likely (greater than 95 percent probability) to be the result of human activity since the mid-20th century and proceeding at a rate that is unprecedented over decades to millennia.

Earth-orbiting satellites and other technological advances have enabled scientists to see the big picture, collecting many different types of information about our planet and its climate on a global scale. This body of data, collected over many years, reveals the signals of a changing climate.

The heat-trapping nature of carbon dioxide and other gases was demonstrated in the mid-19th century. Their ability to affect the transfer of infrared energy through the atmosphere is the scientific basis of many instruments flown by NASA. There is no question that increased levels of greenhouse gases must cause the Earth to warm in response.

Ice cores are drawn from Greenland, Antarctica, and tropical mountain glaciers show that the Earth’s climate responds to changes in greenhouse gas levels. Ancient evidence can also be found in tree rings, ocean sediments, coral reefs, and layers of sedimentary rocks. This ancient, or paleoclimate, evidence reveals that current warming is occurring roughly ten times faster than the average rate of ice-age-recovery warming.

 

“IMPROPER DISPOSAL OF WASTE”

A debonair teenager Ali, a student of University and an active speaker on current issues of the country, wearing a brown and white sweater and spectacles. He went out to university early in the morning. After attending lectures, he went to café. The cafe was full of disposable waste on the floor despite the fact this throwing of garbage everywhere is a major source of land pollution, flood, and diseases of which we the erudite are the primary source. He sat on a chair along with red table in front of him. Reading the newspaper looking worried about the situation of our beloved developed country Pakistan, ordered Fanta and channa chaat. After finishing his meal, he threw can on the floor by following footsteps of his other mates. Our educated audience who call themselves sophisticated but he turned a blind eye towards the environment.