Climate change is widespread, rapid, and intensifying with some trends now irreversible, at least during the present time frame.
According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report last month, it is warned that many of these changes are unprecedented, and some of the shifts are in motion now, while some, such as continued sea level rise, are already ‘irreversible’ for centuries to millennia.
The head of the United Nations, António Guterres, on Thursday, called for “immediate, rapid and large-scale” cuts in greenhouse gas emissions to curb global warming and avert climate disaster, as reported by AP.
Speaking at the launch of a UN-backed report summarizing current efforts to tackle climate change, he said recent extreme weather, from Hurricane Ida in the United States to floods in western Europe and the deadly heat wave in the Pacific Northwest, showed that no country is safe from climate-related disasters.
“These changes are just the beginning of worse to come,” he said, appealing to governments to meet the goals of the 2015 Paris climate accord.
Climate change threatens people with food and water scarcity, increased
flooding, more disease and economic loss. Limiting warming to 1.5 degree
C would require halving emissions by 2030 .This is high time there should be
persistent global efforts to avert the risk of severe , widespread and
irreversible impacts of climate change. It brooks no delay
He added that unless there are immediate, rapid and large-scale decline in greenhouse gas emissions, we will be unable to limit global heating to 1.5 degrees Celsius and the consequences will be catastrophic.
Climate change is both human induced global warming and its massive impacts on weather patterns as well. There were previous periods of climate change, but the recent changes are more rapid than any other events in Earth’s history.
It was reported by AP on Thursday that the strong typhoon named 'Chanthu' is moving towards China at an alarming pace. The typhoon has already started raging in the eastern city of Shanghai. At least 28,000 people have been evacuated from the city. Schools in and around Shanghai have been closed to avert damages. All types of transport have also been suspended.
According to the Shanghai city authorities, the wind speed at the center of the cyclone is said to be more than 170 kilometers per hour. It has been tagged as a super typhoon; however it is expected that the cyclone will weaken over time. Shanghai authorities fear downpour and strong winds to batter the coastal area.
The Chinese Meteorological Agency said the cyclone could cause 250 to 280 mm of rainfall in some parts of the country, including Shanghai. It is learnt that the highest alert was issued in Zhengzhou province near Shanghai due to the typhoon Chanthu. Schools, air and rail services have been shut down in some towns. Schools have been ordered to remain closed for the time being. Flood warnings have been issued in nine districts.
Earlier, torrential rainfall hit China over the last weekend of August including in the northwestern province of Shaanxi where rainfall triggered widespread flooding and landslides.
More than 23,000 people had to be evacuated to safety, and in some parts of the sprawling municipality of Chongqing, in southwestern China, water levels reportedly rose at a speed of about 30-40cm per hour.
A provincial highway was flooded in the municipality’s Hechuan district, and its Chengkou county reported the highest maximum peak flow in 20 years on the Ren River. Local authorities activated their highest-level flood control response on August 29.
The USA’s recent climatic mammoth, Hurricane Ida reached the shore on Sunday (29th August) in Louisiana as a Category 4 hurricane and one of the most powerful storms to ever strike the mainland United States.
The US National Hurricane Center reported Hurricane Ida to be classified as a post-tropical cyclone that moved through the mid-Atlantic region of the U.S. East Coast, causing flash flooding and spawning tornadoes in its path.
The hurricane stripped thousands of residents off power, their livelihoods, and having wrecked their homes, it dropped their net worth almost to zero.
Louisiana was left in a shambles after the cyclone . In some places there were no semblance of buildings at all; just wadded-up rubbles, ruined furnishings and broken glass.
The principal reason for the climate change is the emission of greenhouse gases, mostly carbon dioxide and methane. Fossil fuel burning for energy use creates most of the emisssion.
On land, temperatures have risen about twice as fast as the global average. Deserts are gradually expanding, and heatwaves and wildfires are becoming common phenomena. Higher temperatures are also causing more severe storms. Climate change threatens people with food and water scarcity, increased flooding, more disease and economic loss. Limiting warming to 1.5 degree C would require halving emissions by 2030 .This is high time there should be persistent global efforts to avert the risk of severe , widespread and irreversible impacts of climate change. It brooks no delay.
Sharif Shahab Uddin is Editor-in-Chief, Bangladesh Post.