“As for the future, it is not a question of foreseeing it, but of making it possible.”Antoine De Saint Exupery
The requirement to conserve the world is imminent, and as we keep celebrating days, weeks, and months to spread awareness about this threat to the planet, we wonder how much longer it will take for collective action to take life.
World Nature Conservation Day is celebrated every year on the 28th of July to spread awareness about the flora and fauna that face the threat of extinction. To secure a future where people can still enjoy natural resources such as water, air, forests, and oceans, and enjoy the harmony of a multi-species biosphere, we must understand the gravity of every action we make as the intelligent species of this planet.
To understand the seriousness of our actions in the present, we must understand the consequences we face for the actions of our past. Let’s take a look at all the things we have done that we will never be able to undo, and the consequences that we face as a result.
The reason why climate change might become an irreversible problem is that some greenhouse gases stay in the atmosphere for centuries. This means that any more delay in climate change actions will exponentially increase the scale of the task at hand.
The United Nations Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a report on Aug 9, 2021, that mentions how human activity has “unequivocally influenced global warming” through the emission of Greenhouse Gases. It also talks about the unprecedented scale of the rise in temperature and its harsh consequences for future generations.
There have already been numerous observed changes in the climate system as a result of human-induced global warming. The temperature of the land and the oceans are rising, and heatwaves are occurring more frequently in most geographical areas. The frequency and length of marine heatwaves have increased as a result of global warming. Furthermore, there is strong evidence that human-caused global warming has increased the global frequency, intensity, and/or volume of heavy precipitation events, as well as the risk of drought in the Mediterranean region.
Many impacts related to changes in regional atmospheric and ocean temperature can be confidently attributed to anthropogenic forcing, according to a more recent analysis of attribution to greenhouse gas forcing at the global scale, but attribution to anthropogenic forcing of changes related to precipitation is less clear. Additionally, there is no significant correlation between impact attribution and climate attribution in terms of robustness. The loss of ecological services that are provided by biodiversity, such as diminished access to clean water, amplifies the observed changes in human systems.
Very little study was done regarding the hazards of warming of 1.5°C and 2°C for the majority of the major economic sectors and services, for livelihoods and poverty, and rural areas. Climate is one of many causes that have negative effects on these systems. Demographic change trends, socioeconomic growth, trade, and tourism are further variables. Additionally, the impacts of climate change on infrastructure, tourism, migration, crop yields, and other factors interact with underlying vulnerabilities, such as those faced by people and communities that practice pastoralism, mountain farming, and artisanal fishing, to affect livelihoods and poverty.
Experts suggest that there is still a window of time before all of these effects become irreversible and permanently affect the way this planet’s ecosystem functions. We must follow our celebrations with conscious action because we do not have all our lives to make a change. If we are lucky, we might have one-third of them to do so.