Children to bear the brunt of climatic changes in the near decades: Scientists

Source-BMJ

The global warming issue has an additional feature to it. Climate scientists have issued warning on the dangers posed by global warming. A report presented in Stockholm, attended by politicians from around the world got them concerned when researchers have emphasised that fossil fuel consumption and deforestation have already triggered a rise in global temperatures of almost 1°C since the dawn of the industrial revolution.

 

Moreover, there has been a fifth assessment on the geographical science of climate change by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). They have added that this increase could double to more than 2°C in the next few decades. Extreme weather events such as hot spells and storms, which have already increased in many regions, would shoot up further. Similarly ice sheets will continue to shrink disturbingly, while sea levels will rise and the oceans become more acidified, leading to the destruction of the planet’s coral reefs by 2100.

 

The implications it would have for the health of humanity is a matter of great concern. Children among the 200 million people who are likely to have to flee their homes as deserts spread and sea levels rise will suffer especially, because of their high susceptibility to disease. Similarly, small children would be most vulnerable to incidence of heatstrokes as heatwaves mount in brutally. 

 

Oxfam a charity organisation in United Kingdom has cautioned that global warming is likely to elicit rapid rises in food prices. “Analysis suggests the number of people at risk of hunger is projected to increase by 10-20% by 2050 as a result of climate change,” the agency said this week.

 

The IPCC’s report denotes that over the years humanity has emitted about half a trillion tonnes of greenhouse gases by burning fossil fuels over the past 250 years. This in turn has made atmospheric carbon dioxide levels shoot up by 40%. It is further estimated that a release of another half trillion tonnes in the next few decades is a strong likelihood, prompting further hikes in global temperatures.

 

The report will be discussed by government representatives this week at a meeting in Stockholm hosted by the IPCC. The study—the work of more than 200 scientists—outlines the physical changes that are likely to affect the world’s climate this century, while future reports will cover the social effects of climate change and the efforts that will be needed to offset the damage caused by global warming. A United Nations meeting in Paris in 2015 will then debate what actions will be needed to mitigate climate change.

 

However, these reports are appearing at a time when growing numbers of people say that they doubt the reality of global warming. So clearly there is a sort of unacceptability between what the lay man thinks and what research and science has to project, making a divide between belief and reality.