Impacts of Climate Change on Environment


The negative impact of climate change is now one of the greatest challenges of the world. The major calamities and environmental disorders of India are flood, drought, storm, cyclone, environmental degradation, river erosion, landslides, extreme temperature, dense fogs, insect pest proliferation and disease outbreaks. Climate change is not only and the issue of our country, but it is also now a global concern. Too much emphasis is given to its negative impacts but the main concern should be how this is happening and what are mitigation and adaption measures. Climate change is not a static process. It is dynamic and changing naturally for years.

The main impact of this change is the rise in global average temperature. This unusual rise in temperature is being accelerated due to anthropocentric impacts. Unplanned industrialization, distribution of forests, overuse of chemical fertilizer in agriculture, misuse of power and air conditioning appliances, vehicles and the emission of black smoke from industries are some human factors that are causing climate change.

Greenhouse gases are emitted from these activities. These gases are trapping the excess temperature in the atmosphere. Due to this global temperature rise, the biodiversity and environment are in great danger. There are many areas in and around India like Himalayan region and Nepal are most vulnerable due to climate change. Some of the rural areas are natural calamities prone areas. The coastal zones of India are highly endangered areas and prone to natural disasters like floods, cyclones and storms. Tidal surge is also quite common in these areas. Recently occurred Tsunami and the flood in Uttrakhand are examples of worst calamities.

In Andhra Pradesh, the cyclone named ‘Hud Hud’ is creating chaos these days. The cyclone has damaged almost all the homesteads, roads, schools and markets of the locality. Once lively villages have become the graveyard of thousands of humans and their live stocks. All crop fields and roads are inundated with flood water. The road transports are disconnected. The scarcity of food and drinking water are acute after the mishaps. However, rescue and rehabilitation program is helping the victims to stand on their own. Even the wildlife is at risk because of this global climate change. Almost 1/4th of the species on earth are going to be extinct by 2050, just because of climate change. The animals are forced to migrate to cooler places to survive and most of them fail to cope with such change. The Golden Toad has already become extinct. Polar bears, coral reefs and birds like Baltimore Oriole and Black-capped Chickadee and American goldfinch are on the verge of becoming extinct just because of increased sea temperature and changed vegetation patterns.

Unfortunately, we often forget our misdeeds towards nature. Cutting forests for the sake of urbanization and industries and polluting the air with toxic gases is the main reason for increasing temperatures. Our unforeseen and unconscious odd acts are the main cause of man-made the disaster. Sea level is rising as a result of ice melt in the northern pole. If this trend continues then the coastal zone of India are under threat of being inundated due to the intrusion of saline water. The biodiversity is affected very badly due to sea level rise. Other coastal forests are also not free from the potential threats. Reproduction and growth of plant communities are dependent on climatic condition.

Change in rain pattern & its velocity, change in temperature and soil fertility have resulted in lesser plant productivity and succession.  Both flood and drought are posing serious threats to our crops and agriculture fields. Diversity in crops is reducing. Drought and desertification are engulfing our land. As a result, the fishes and other aquatic biodiversity are becoming rare. The intensity of floods has increased. Water is getting over spilled because river beds are raised due to massive sedimentation. These things are also impacting on our food self-sufficiency and are clearly a threat to our food security. Oceans are getting acidified because the CO2 pollution of smokestacks is absorbed by them. Greenhouse gases are another reason of ocean acidification. Glaciers are melting and the ice is getting thin. There are extreme heat events occur every 20 years but an environmental study shows that if the temperature keeps going up like this, these heat events will occur every year. The climate change is also responsible for the spread of diseases, worsening air quality, surge in wildfires, more intense hurricanes, shifting habitats and most importantly, biodiversity loss. Some other far related impacts include loss of agriculture, energy and tourism.

Climate change is impacting in all spheres of our socio-economic activities.There is no sudden or short course to combat the negative impacts of climate change. We can temporarily minimize the impacts. Because the root cause is somewhere else, which is “The Global Industrialized Countries” far from our region. The developed and industrialized countries that have put a great amount of carbon and other greenhouse gases during last two centuries.However, this is an impact of globalization and we are the victims of such act.We should address positively to abate these negative impacts through our concerted efforts.

We need to act urgently to reduce the causes of climate change for the safety of our environment. Trees absorb the huge quantity of carbon dioxide so hence we should plant and nurse more and more trees. We should stop monoculture forestry and need to protect our natural forests. There is a need work in favor of environment-friendly urbanization and industrialization. We should adopt green energy vehicle, green buildings and green technology. We also need to raise massive public awareness. We can also take infrastructural measures such as afforestation, raised roads and homesteads. Another field is the use of knowledge-based research. The farmers here should be provided with salt tolerant, drought tolerant and heat tolerant crop seeds to cope up with changed harsh conditions.  If we care for the sustainable development, then only the greenhouse gases will be reduced. The environment would be in a balanced state. The planet would remain livable for both the human being and their non-human neighbors.

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