Climate Change, a Fact or a Myth?

Climate Change, a Fact or a Myth

The following article, “Climate Change, a Fact or a Myth?“, is written by Khalid Nazir, a student of Sir Syed Kazim Ali. Moreover, the article is written on the same pattern, taught by Sir to his students, scoring the highest marks in compulsory subjects for years. Sir Kazim has uploaded his students’ solved past paper questions so other thousands of aspirants can understand how to crack a topic or question, how to write relevantly, what coherence is, and how to include and connect ideas, opinions, and suggestions to score the maximum.

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Outline

1- Introduction

2- Understanding the term ‘Climate Change’

3- What are the indicators that prove climate change is a fact?

  • Earth’s surface temperature is increasing.
    • Evidence: In 2021, the global mean temperature of the Earth was 1.1 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial level- the United Nations
  • Oceans are getting warmer and more acidic.
    • Evidence: According to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), ninety-five per cent of the open ocean surface has become more acidic since the last two decades of the twenty-first century.
  • Glaciers are melting at a faster rate compared to the pre-industrial era
    • Evidence: According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, Greenland and Antarctica have been losing over a hundred billion metric tons of ice annually.
  • Sea levels are rising at an alarming speed.
    • Evidence: Former president Mohamed Nasheed of the Republic of Maldives said that with a sea-level rise of 1.5 meters, hundreds of millions of people would be dead.
  • Droughts and heatwaves are getting more intense and sudden.
    • Evidence: The frequency of heatwaves steadily increased from 2 per year in the 1960s to 6 per year in the 2010s and 2020s- according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

4- Case study of Pakistan Floods 2022
5- Critical analysis
6-Conclusion

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Answer to the Question

Introduction

As a global phenomenon, climate change has overshadowed all other concerns the world faces today. Indeed, contrary to what some people think, it is a natural process that is wreaking havoc at an unprecedented level worldwide. No region is safe from its effects, and if steps are not taken promptly to slow down this change, it could make many parts of the Earth uninhabitable by the end of this century. Some of the most terrifying consequences of climate change are rising Earth’s surface temperature, increasing sea levels, excessive flooding, and melting glaciers, leaving no doubt that climate change is a fact. For instance, climate change is the culprit behind destructive floods in Pakistan in 2022. Hence, it is high time the international community took substantial collective steps to mitigate its impacts and slow down this process. This article sheds light on the destructive repercussions of climate change that demonstrate the veracity of the phenomenon and the required actions to deal with this curse.

Understanding the term ‘Climate Change’

Understanding the actual context of climate change before proving it to be a fact is essential. Climate is a long-term global pattern of average temperature, humidity, and rainfall over different seasons. So, climate change means a long-term shift in average temperature and weather worldwide. Since the beginning of the industrial era, climate change has been observed, primarily driven by human activities, like the excessive burning of fossil fuels. This alarming rise in temperature has become a grave threat in the twenty-first century. So, it has become a severe issue for the world.

Indicators that cement the reality of climate change

Earth’s surface temperature is increasing.

Some apparent indicators prove climate change is an irrefutable fact. Since the last five decades, climate changes have occurred at unprecedented levels. The first and most important sign of climate change is the rise of the average temperature of the Earth’s surface. This change has occurred at a lightning-quick pace since the second half of the twentieth century. As per the United Nations (UN) report, in 2021, the global mean temperature of the Earth was 1.1 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial level. These previous five to seven years were considered the hottest. Moreover, this extreme shift in average temperature has devastating impacts on the world through low crop yields, health issues, and disasters like heat waves and droughts. Hence, climate change is far from fiction and an undeniable fact.

Oceans are getting warmer and more acidic.

Second, oceans have become warmer and more acidic, causing severe harm to marine biodiversity and the communities near coastal areas. This warming and acidification of oceans is due to excessive emissions as high concentrations of carbon dioxide warm and acidify the ocean water when it gets dissolved in the water. According to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), ninety-five per cent of the open ocean surface has become more acidic since the last two decades of the twenty-first century. This has badly disturbed marine life, adversely affecting economic activities like tourism and fishing. Hence, this scenario indicates the severity of the threat that climate change has posed to the existence of planet Blue.

Glaciers are melting at a faster rate compared to the pre-industrial era.

Another obvious indicator of climate change is glaciers melting and ice sheets shrinking. Since the last half-century, due to the rise in industrialization, the emission of Carbon dioxide and other GHGs has raised the Earth’s average surface temperature, leading to the melting of glaciers. According to the statistical data of the United States Environmental Protection Agency, Greenland and Antarctica have been losing more than a hundred billion metric tons of ice per year. This melting of ice due to warmer air has resulted in devastating impacts, such as flash floods and water scarcity, experienced by the masses worldwide.

Sea levels are rising at an alarming speed.

Furthermore, another essential evidence of climate change is rising sea levels. This indicator is a direct consequence of the factor mentioned above. It has become a severe issue because it is a threat to coastal areas and has also impacted economic activities. Former president Mohamed Nasheed of the Republic of Maldives said that with a sea-level rise of 1.5 meters, hundreds of millions of people would be dead. The rise in sea level due to the constantly rising global average temperature is another dreadful consequence of climate change that can potentially claim hundreds of millions of innocent lives.

Droughts and heat waves are getting more intense and erratic.

Lastly, frequent droughts also clearly depict that climate change is a fact. Severe droughts occur when much surface water evaporates due to warmer temperatures. It impacts soil fertility and also causes water scarcity. As a result, droughts cause food insecurity and health issues, resulting in the loss of innocent lives. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, The frequency of heatwaves is steadily increasing from 2 per year in the 1960s to 6 per year in 2010s and 2020s.” This has happened due to altered rainfall patterns and increased evaporation rates. This altered pattern is a consequence of climate change. Hence, the curse of climate change is baring its fangs at the dwellers of planet blue, ready to harvest their lives if not adequately countered.

Case study of Pakistan floods-2022 Case study of Pakistan floods-2022

An important and recent case study is the 2022 flash floods in Pakistan. Last year, in August and September, Pakistan received rainfall three times more than its usual rainfall. As a result of heavy rains and floods, 33 million people were affected, mainly in the provinces of Baluchistan and Sindh. According to the report of the National Disasters Management Authority (NDMA), nearly 1500 people died due to this disaster. Moreover, it also destroyed standing crops, damaged infrastructure, and killed almost 750 million livestock. The estimated loss was around 30 billion dollars, and it has been recognized that the flooding occurred due to extreme monsoon rainfall in 2022. This disaster should be taken as a lesson, and leaders, especially from developed and industrialized countries and organizations, should take substantial steps to curb the rise in global average temperature.

Critical analysis

Critically, an unnatural rise in global average temperature has been observed since the Industrial Revolution. This elevation in temperature has primarily occurred due to human activities, like burning fossil fuels and emission of chemical compounds and gases, like carbon dioxide. These gases elevate the greenhouse effect beyond safe levels, becoming a primary reason behind the increase in Earth’s average surface temperature. Beyond the shadow of a doubt, these changes in natural climate are long-term and have become a pressing concern for the world in the twenty-first century. Moreover, climate change is a grave issue because it has become an existential crisis for the world as a whole, putting the survival of this planet at stake. Hence, it is time for world leaders to forget their petty conflicts and strive to combat this curse as a whole.

Conclusion

Climate change is a global issue that has become a non-traditional global security threat. The above discussion has proved that climate change, unlike the claims of some, is not fiction but an unquestionable fact. And sincere global cooperation is required to deal with this issue. Human activities are the reasons that are disturbing the natural environment, so all stakeholders, especially the developed and industrial countries, need to play their role in mitigating the anathema of climate change as it has caused widespread destruction to health, agriculture, biodiversity, ecosystem, and economy, destabilizing the entire global system. And if it is not taken seriously, climate change can annihilate the human race. However, all hope is not lost, and by considering climate change a severe and acute threat and taking substantial measures accordingly, Planet Blue can be saved from meeting its demise.

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