As the news on TV flashes about yet another cyclone named Nirvar in the southern city of India, Chennai, rescue personnel geared up for the next challenge.
This has been a yearly phenomenon since the year 2013 in the region. The southern part of India has been experiencing incessant rains accompanied by extreme winds towards the end of the year. Many people are time and again relocate themselves and look for safer lands. On one hand, there are parts of the world suffering from droughts and on the other there are few areas where water has flooded the residential areas. Some of the most affected are the people who stay near Coastal or Mountainous regions.
One of the most prominent reasons behind these occurrences is Climate Change.
How does Climate change affect weather forecasting?
- First and foremost, scientists never predicted that climate change is going to be so rapid. Due that climate models have failed at certain instances.
- Instances of extreme weather conditions are on the rise but they were very uncommon in the past few decades. So meteorologists don’t have past history to rely upon in order to predict the future.
- One of the most worrying effects of climate change is inability to forecast the time and amount of rains throughout the year. There are countries seeing rains in unusual times of the year. Also, the precipitation levels are far more higher as experienced earlier. Like the UK has seen extremely wet winters recently.
- Rising levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere can affect accuracy on the surface since the weather stays hazy for most part of the year. This increases the need for tweaking the weather predictions according to the carbon density in the air.
What is Climate Change?
It is a phenomenon due to which average weather patterns across the world are changing at an accelerating rate. It can be in a way of rising temperatures, untimely rains or strong winds. Climate change, year after year , has been causing the frequency of extreme disasters to increase like droughts and floods. Now it has got the spotlight due to personal experiences of people facing extreme weather instead of just a scientific phenomenon.
How is Climate change different from Global Warming?
Climate change involves changes in regular weather patterns observed over a period of few years, be it, temperature level rise or precipitation related issues. Whereas, global warming in particular includes increasing average temperatures of a place. For example, the United Kingdom has observed the hottest decade of 2010-2020. This is specially due to increasing percentage of heat trapping gases like carbon dioxide, methane, water vapour and nitrous oxide.
What is the cause of Climate change?
Decades ago when Earth received energy from the Sun, it warmed up the planet. But heat is also released back into the space from the atmosphere. Now, due to presence of many warming / greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide, methane, water vapour and nitrous oxide in Earth’s atmosphere , the heat cannot get released in the space and is trapped within the atmosphere creating even more heat. This leads to rising temperatures, melting ice sheets, increasing sea levels and the like.
What are the consequences of Climate change?
- Storms and cyclones have become all the more frequent these days since increasing warm air carries a lot of air pressure and seas store absorb a lot of heat thus circulating it across if pressure builds up.
- The warming Artic air is leading more winds travel towards the south and creates snow storms in the winters. This the reason why some countries are facing unusual cold winters.
- Regular heat waves sweeping across the cities is common now. With temperatures rising above normal.
- Rising sea levels are another cause of concern since these can lead to further erosion of our coastal cities.
- Duration of forest fires like those of Australian bushfires and ones in California due to heatwave and rising temperatures is increasing enormously causing more and more damage to the soil and entire ecosystem.
What was Paris Agreement?
Global warming was an alarming issue even a decade back when signs of weather changes were not visible. However, world leaders failed to realise the urgency to address it. Finally in 2015, countries of the world met and signed the Paris Agreement where nations committed to cap their carbon emissions to avoid further heating of the planet.
Collectively the average temperature rise was benchmarked at 2 degrees. Each country came up with their own numbers of how much they will emit and the list of precautions they will take. Formally all 197 countries signed up for the agreement but President Trump from the United States of America expressed an intention to withdraw from the arrangement.
Solutions to reduce climate change?
Changing the adversity revolving around Climate change is not the task of the governments alone. Public should collaborate with authorities and take efforts to save the planet from getting destroyed any further. Here are a few examples and steps the society as a whole can take towards the betterment.
- Taking an example of European nations, public must not allowed to enter the centre of the city with their vehicles. And even if vehicles do, then extra charges and taxes must be levied.
- Apart from that, cycles and public transport must be made the transport of the common people as it is energy saving.
- Practice minimalism. Collect goods as less as possible in order to reduce waste.
- Educate yourself and children. Bring them up in a way they are fully aware of the adversities around and take necessary steps to combat challenges and prevent them at first. Develop consciousness among them to be responsible citizens of the planet.
- The leniency around emissions it is due to no cost associated with it. Taxes on emissions or capping on emissions will people conscious and may even stop doing it.
- Accept renewable sources of energy as the next big thing in terms of business opportunities as well as protecting the environment. Collaborating with the government must be encouraged to make a steady source of income especially in small towns and villages and save the environment. It is a labour intensive industry, thus, will create a lot of employment.
- Use of biofuels like Renewable Algae should be explored and harnessed because just a pond of algae can create a lot of energy.
- Reforestation is a major step towards preventing heating of the environment and keeping the soil together.
- Reservoirs have to be made in order to store surplus water when it rains so that it can help avoid droughts and also avoid flooding of the cities.
- Planning of cities is very much important to reserve spaces for greenery as well recycling substances.
Solutions to improve weather forecasting?
Coming up with sound mechanisms to watch closely at the weather situation can save and mitigate a lot of risks which can otherwise cripple societies. Apart from the fundamental checks, routine analysis by the weather department is required to prepare for the uncertainties Meteorological models need improvement and infrastructure should be technologically sound. Latest equipments are required to find the most accurate numbers.