Pragya Singh

Editorial Writer

How humans have triggered climate change?

Two to three decades ago, the major global concerns included issues like poverty and terrorism. Though environmental issues were discussed, they used to get little attention as they were overpowered by the subject of development. Nobody would have imagined that in just a matter of a few decades, this climate change would get exacerbated to such an extent that everyone would be forced not just to discuss it but to seek prudent solutions for the same.

Most scientific reports on climate analyse the changes that have occurred since the pre-industrial era. But even looking back at the past decade, it is clear that our world today is very different from the world of 2010. In 2010, average global  temperature was 0.88°C above pre-industrial levels while the year 2020 was 1.2°C above pre-industrial levels. Climate change has been triggered and it is affecting our planet in an exponential way. We are already seeing more than 2-inch rise in the global mean sea level, loss in mass of ice sheets from Antarctic, Greenland and Arctic region. Devastating extreme events, including heat waves, record rainfall and flooding, massive fires and heat- charged hurricanes, all have become severe and more frequent.

To what extent have we contributed in this warming of our planet? Tens of thousands of scientists in more than a hundred nations have amassed an overwhelming amount of evidence pointing to a clear conclusion: humans are the main cause. The industrial activities that our modern civilization depends upon have raised CO2 levels from 280 ppm to about 420ppm in the last 151 years. Human-produced greenhouse gases have caused much of the observed increase in earth’s temperatures over the past 5 decades. Some people might say that our share in this is insignificant, and this rise in temperature is not an uncommon event. Indeed, such drastic events have taken place on this planet even before our origin. And its reasonable to assume that it is Sun’s energy that drives our climate system. However, there is enough evidence to show that current global warming cannot be explained by changes in energy from the Sun. It’s us who have triggered this climate change. Our activities have damaged the planet, in a way smoking does the lungs. And if this ailment turns incurable, we will be affected in ways one can’t imagine. So, it is better to hurry up and make genuine efforts to cure our ailing planet.

Climate change is real. It is happening right now; it is the most urgent threat facing our entire species and we need to work collectively together and stop procrastinating.

  ~ Leonardo di Caprio, actor and environmentalist.