By Changhee Lee
October 6, 2023
UPDATED 12:00 PM EST
[Photo Credit: University of Exeter]
Climate change has emerged as one of the most pressing challenges of our time, affecting ecosystems, economies, and communities around the world. In recognition of the problem of this climate crisis, President Biden has nominated John Kerry, who was a secretary of the U.S., as a special presidential envoy to address this monumental issue. President Biden has also proposed to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, which will balance detrimental effects of carbon emissions. The involvement of governments underscores the paramount importance of remediating the current situation associated with the climate crisis.
The Earth's climate system is a complex web of interactions, influenced by various natural factors. Among these factors, El Nino and La Nina, an oscillating climate pattern, play a pivotal role in influencing temperature changes. El Nino is characterized by the release of excessive heat, and La Nina tends to decrease in heat release, profoundly impacting temperature fluctuations. However, due to carbon emissions, there has been a change in the intensity of the pattern, causing the imbalance effect of El Nino and La Nina. This imbalance contributes to rise in sea-level, posing a major threat to Small Island Developing States like the Maldives and Fiji. Despite their small size, these countries have growing populations; the Maldives houses around 520,000 people in an area about 298 kilometers, for example. The potential damage from rising sea levels could lead to significant casualties.
Moreover, climate change has a direct impact on the environment. The melting ice in polar regions endangered species like polar bears, which depend on sea ice for their survival. Furthermore, shifts in temperature can disrupt ecosystems, impacting plant and animal species that struggle to adapt or migrate to more suitable habitats. For instance, higher temperatures have caused an increase in the population of Mormon Crickets in the West. This triggers soil erosion and poor water quality, ending up damaging crops.
Climate change is a current reality that demands immediate action. The scientific evidence is clear, and the consequences of inaction are too severe to ignore. We have a responsibility to protect our planet and ensure its habitability for current and future generations. By embracing sustainable practices, advocating for policy changes, and fostering global cooperation, we can collectively mitigate the impacts of climate change and create a more resilient and equitable world.
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