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The negative repercussions of climate change have already arrived at our home. It is imperative that people make intelligent decisions in order to adapt to change, prevent disasters from occurring in the future, and protect the environment. The gradual rise in temperature close to the earth’s surface brought on by an increase in greenhouse gases is known as global warming.
Global warming has a number of causes, many of which are harmful to people, plants, and animals. These reasons could be a result of human activity or the natural world. In this article, we will discuss Climate change which will is an important topic of the Environment Subject of the UPSC Syllabus. The UPSC Mock Testcan help candidates prepare for the exam with more precision.
Climate Change Meaning
Climate Change refers to a long-term change in temperature and weather patterns, which may be brought on by anthropogenic activities like carbon emissions or natural processes like oscillations in the solar cycle. Since the 1800s, human activity has been the main contributor to climate change, particularly the use of fossil fuels like coal, oil, and gas. The burning of fossil fuels releases greenhouse gas emissions that act as a shield around the planet, trapping solar heat and raising temperatures.
Two significant greenhouse gas emissions that are causing climate change are methane and carbon dioxide. These are created, for example, through the combustion of coal or petrol. Methane is mainly generated by trash dumps, whereas carbon dioxide can also be released during forest and land removal. Energy, industry, transportation, buildings, agriculture, and land use are all key emitters.
Climate Change Causes
Numerous human-made activities damage the ecosystem. Among the most significant are –
A significant amount of global emissions are caused by the burning of fossil fuels for electricity and heat. The majority of power is still generated by burning coal, oil, or gas, which generates carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide. Only around 25% of the electricity produced worldwide comes from renewable energy sources including wind, solar, and other natural resources.
Industrial and manufacturing products
One of the main industries in the world that produces greenhouse gas emissions is manufacturing and industrial. Burning fossil fuels to provide energy for the creation of goods like textiles, electronics, plastics, cement, iron, and steel leads to the majority of emissions from manufacturing and industry. Additionally, gases are generated during industrial processes like mining and construction. Some goods, such as plastic products, are also produced using chemicals obtained from fossil fuels.
Deforestation, along with agriculture and other changes in land use, is to blame for a portion of the global greenhouse gas emissions. Approximately 12 million hectares of wood are estimated to be destroyed each year. Emissions are also increased by clearing trees to create space for ranches, pastures, and other uses. Cutting or destroying trees decreases nature’s ability to absorb emissions because forests absorb carbon dioxide.
Machines used in transportation are often powered by fossil fuels. As a result, the transportation industry has a significant impact on greenhouse gas emissions, particularly carbon dioxide emissions. Statistics also indicate a large increase in energy demand for transportation during the following several years.
In addition to deforestation and clearing land for farming and grazing, the creation and use of fertilizers and manure, as well as the usage of electricity to drive agricultural equipment or fishing boats, usually with fossil fuels, all contribute to the production of food.
Residential and commercial buildings consume more than half of the electricity used worldwide. Buildings’ energy-related carbon dioxide emissions have risen in recent years as a result of rising energy costs for heating and cooling, a growth in the number of air conditioners owned, and rising power use for lighting, appliances, and connected devices.
Climate Change Impact
Extreme weather has resulted in some regions of India due to the significant effects of climate change. Climate change has led to a number of effects, including the melting of ice glaciers and an increase in sea levels. The effects of climate change will be discussed below.
The movement of flora and fauna towards the Polar Regions in search of a cooler climate to combat warming temperatures has also been facilitated by changes in the landscape, which have contributed to the ongoing movement of land masses and their location as well. On the other hand, as a result of the ice melting brought on by global warming, the polar animals’ habitat is in danger.
Rise in the Levels of the Sea
Due to the warming of the earth’s atmosphere, glaciers are melting as a result of global warming. All of this water unites with the ocean, causing the sea level to increase significantly and increasing the risk of natural disasters like floods in the coastal areas. These calamities erode the coastlines and wipe out the wetlands and surrounding ecosystems.
Increasing Ocean Acidity
Ocean acidification results from increased ocean carbon dioxide absorption as a result of rising atmospheric carbon dioxide levels. As a result, aquatic organisms like plankton, molluscs, and corals lose their habitat.
Weather patterns alter the local ecosystem, eliminating the ideal ecological circumstances and the ability of native species to survive. As a result, the ecosystem becomes unbalanced, and the environment is destroyed.
Draughts are happening all over the planet as a result of inadequate rainfall and intense sun radiation in that region, which is causing the local species to become extinct. Another effect of climate change that contributes to floods, hurricanes, and storms is the rise in sea level.
Unfavourable Human Health
The high levels of harmful chemicals in the environment, which cause a number of respiratory ailments, compromise human health. Additionally, a number of potential human ailments rise in response to high temperatures.
Climate Change and Global Warming
The effects of global warming have caused a sharp increase in the earth’s temperature. Since 1880, the earth’s temperature has increased by one degree Celsius. As a result, there has been an increase in glacier melting, which has raised the sea level. For coastal communities, this might have severe effects. Coral reefs have suffered due to global warming, which could lead to the extinction of various plants and animals. Rising global temperatures have made the condition of coral reefs worse.
Global warming has caused climate change. Some regions experience droughts, while others have flooded. Global warming is the root cause of this climate imbalance. Global warming alters the patterns of heat and humidity. Mosquitoes, which transmit and spread diseases, have increased as a result of this.
With an increase in the frequency of floods, tsunamis, and other natural catastrophes, the average death toll typically increases. Furthermore, such occurrences may cause diseases that jeopardize human life to spread. Global climate change causes a number of plants and animals to lose their habitats. The creatures in this situation are forced to abandon their native home, and many of them go extinct. This is another important way that biodiversity is being impacted by global warming.
Climate Change in India
Climate change in India carries a number of problems and threatens the environment. The stability of the ecology is threatened by the imbalances brought about by the climate and environment. The effects of climate change intensify competition for scarce resources.
A portion of the populace relies on natural resources to survive. Resources running out can cause people to move away and lead to a rise in insecurities. The probability of floods and other natural disasters will increase as a result of extreme weather and pattern changes.
The food chain and cycle are at risk from climate change. This may cause market instability and price increases. The supply of water and the accompanying quality are at risk due to the ongoing climate challenges. In the same way, the Indus Water treaty did, it will cause tensions for transboundary water. Increasing sea levels could cause migration and social unrest by raising sea levels.
Climate Change in India and Preventive Measures Taken
To encourage the use of solar energy for generating electricity, the National Solar Mission has been established. The National Enhanced Energy Efficiency Mission for Energy Conservation in Industries has been launched by the Indian government. The National Sustainable Habitat Mission was established by the Indian government to advance energy-efficient technology in urban design.
The National Water Mission has been established in order to conserve water through price and other methods. A national mission for preserving biodiversity, forest cover, and other ecological values in the Himalayan region has been established. The “Green India Mission” was launched by the Indian government to reforest more than 6 million hectares of degraded forest land and raise the country’s forest cover from 23% to 33%.
To encourage climatically resilient farming There is now a national mission for sustainable agriculture. India has created a 20-year national action plan to address desertification through the UN Convention to Address Desertification (UNCCD). The Government of India has started the Environment Impact Assessment Program to gauge how companies affect the environment. In order to further safeguard wildlife sanctuaries and national parks, an Eco-Sensitive Zone has been declared.
The usage of renewable energy sources is being promoted in India. India has several laws in place to protect the environment, including the Environment (Protection) Act of 1986, the Forest (Conservation) Act of 1980, and the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972.
Climate Change UPSC
In contrast to the weather, the climate is a long-term process. Over the course of billions of years, a variety of naturally occurring forces have changed our environment. The many natural forces include glaciations, sunspot activity, volcanic eruptions, ice ages, variations in greenhouse gas concentrations, and more. Students can read all the details related to UPSC by visiting the official website of StudyIQ UPSC Online Coaching.