You may wonder will the effects of climate change on Asia carry fatal consequences after hearing a lot about it. Don’t worry you will find the replies of all your apprehensions in this post. But before coming to this debate let’s first have a look on background knowledge of this topic.
Difference between climate and weather
Weather refers to atmospheric conditions of a place over a short period of time. It includes precipitation, humidity in air, wind speed, wind direction etc.
The climate refers to the weather pattern of a place for a long period of time (over 30 years).
Weather changes on a daily basis but the climate takes decades or even more to change.
What is climate change?
Climate change is the change in the pattern of weather and it affects on land surfaces, oceans and ice sheets. Climate change usually occurs over a time period of many years like decades or more.
Climate change can even take millions of years. It can have a huge impact on human population. It changes raining pattern at a place or temperature in an area.
Main causes of climate change
There are many reasons of climate change. Main reason of climate change is the anthropogenic activities on mother earth. These include fossil fuel combustion, including oil and coal.
Fossil fuel combustion emits carbon dioxide and it forms a blanket around the earth that warms the earth’s surface. This is the major reason of global warming and climate change.
Deforestation also contributes to climate change. Besides, intensive agriculture and industrialization are major contributing factors of climate change. The greenhouse effect is making the earth warmer.
Effects of climate change
Climate change has wide ranging effects on humans and human activities. These include melting of glaciers, habitat destruction, excessive flooding due to melting of glaciers, long term summers, heat waves, cool summers, excessive ice on glaciers in some parts, crop destruction etc.
Humans and animals face main challenge of survival because of climate change. Climate change has significant effects on various parts of the worlds.
Will the effects of climate change on Asia carry fatal consequences?
Climate change is equally affecting Asia. The countries of Asia just unlike the countries of rest of the world are suffering the most from climate change despite of their least contribution for causing it.
Effects of climate change on agriculture in Asia
The vast majority of people in Asia depend on agriculture for their livelihood, and the climate change is severely affecting the agriculture. The people here are dependent on food produced from agriculture and climate change is severely affecting it.
It is affect agriculture just like the floods that destroy crops. Certain crops fail to grow in unfavorable climatic and varied rain conditions.
Major part of Asia may see 50 per cent more rainfall due to climate change, although countries like Pakistan and Afghanistan may experience a decline in rainfall by 20 to 50 per cent, says a new report by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. Decrease in crop yield for many parts of Asia is leaving many millions of people at risk from hunger.
Warming of earth
Climate change is making the earth warmer. A large proportion of Asian countries already have warmer climates than developed countries, therefore the effects of further warming are more extreme. Like increase of average temperatures in India and Pakistan and India.
With increased climate change, there are extreme cases of flooding. The warming of the earth is melting the glaciers. The melted glaciers and snow bodies flow in rivers and lakes and the water level rises. This flooding can destroy crops leading to food shortage and threat to cattle and human life.
Nineteen of the twenty five cities highly exposed to a one-meter sea-level rise are in Asia, seven in the Philippines alone. Indonesia will be the country worst hit by coastal flooding, with approximately 5.9 million people affected every year until 2100.
Effects on health of individuals
The climate change also affects human health. In Asia the heat-related deaths in the region among the elderly are expected to increase by about 52,000 cases by 2050 due to climate change, according to data from the World Health Organization.
The climate change poses various diseases apart from huge number of deaths. The air pollution contributes to various diseases. China, India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh are the top four countries that are most affected by air pollution-related diseases. There is steep rise in cholera cases in South Asia.
Extreme climate change events
With climate change, extreme climate events are increasing in the region of Asia. These include heat waves, smog, droughts, and droughts during the summer months and El Nino events etc.
These events can prove fatal and can cause huge number of deaths. There is also intense rainfall events causing landslides and severe floods. Examples are like the severe heat wave we had witnessed in Karachi, Pakistan in June 2015. Around 2000 people were died from heat stroke and dehydration.
The recent smog in India (New Delhi) and Pakistan (Lahore, Faisalabad) are a clear example of climate related phenomenon. Smog causes various diseases and reduces visibility. Various accidents occur due to smog on roads.
How to mitigate the effects of climate change on Asia?
The possible solutions suggested to mitigate climate change in the Asia Pacific region are those outlined in the Paris Agreement. These include rapid decarbonization, adaptation measures to protect the most vulnerable, projects focusing on renewable energy, and innovation in infrastructure and transport.
Professor Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, Director of Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research said“The Asian countries hold Earth’s future in their hands. If they choose to protect themselves against dangerous climate change, they will help to save the entire planet. The challenge is twofold. On the one hand, Asian greenhouse-gas emissions have to be reduced in a way that the global community can limit planetary warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius, as agreed in Paris 2015.”
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