Climate Change: Global Warming

Climate Change: Global Warming

The context

  1. A working group of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said in a report released on August 9 that human activities were unequivocally the primary driver of changes in the atmosphere, ocean, cryosphere, and biosphere, or climate change, in one of the most categorical statements from a scientific body in the United Nations system. 
  2. Since the industrial period, man-made emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs), led by carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide, have been modifying the climate system, boosting global average surface temperatures.
  3. Working Group I’s contribution to the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report is one of three such technical reports, the other two beings on effects, adaptation, and vulnerability (WG II) and mitigation (WG III), both of which are due later this year and will be followed by a synthesis report next year.

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)

  1. Formed in 1988 by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) 
  2. It was formed with the objective of delivering scientific information to governments at all levels in order for them to develop climate policy. 
  3. The IPCC’s results are heavily used in international climate change negotiations. The IPCC is a United Nations or World Meteorological Organization-affiliated group of states. The IPCC now has a total of 195 members.

The Inferences from the report

  1. The contribution of GHG emissions from various activities is the scientific basis for global warming and climate change, according to the WG I report. 
  2. These actions include the use of fossil fuels for energy and transportation, agricultural and waste emissions, and building energy profiles. The increase in global surface temperature for the decade 2011-2020, compared to the period 1850-1900, is expected to be 1.09°C, indicating how much the world has warmed. 
  3. This must be weighed against the United Nations’ Paris Agreement’s consensus
  4. The WG I report focuses on determining the effects of various emissions scenarios on various aspects of the world, including land, oceans, mountains, polar areas, glaciers, and the water cycle. Even in the best-case scenario, global surface temperatures might rise by 1.0°C to 1.8°C on average between 2081 and 2100, but in a high-emissions scenario, they could rise by a scorching 3.3°C to 5.7°C. 
  5. Because the Paris Agreement’s basic pledges are insufficient to keep global warming well below 2°C, drastic and immediate reductions in greenhouse gas emissions are required.

The Effect of this global warming 

  1. Climate change is expected to have a significant impact on temperature and rainfall extremes, with implications for human health, ecosystem survival, and long-term economic activity. 
  2. Since the 1950s, hot extremes (including heatwaves) have become more frequent and intense throughout most land regions,” while “cold extremes (including cold waves) have become less frequently and less severe says the study
  3. The scientific consensus is that human-caused climate change is the primary cause of these changes. There are additional ramifications as well.
  4. According to the paper, increased land evapotranspiration has contributed to an increase in agricultural and ecological droughts in some places as a result of climate change. 
  5. Increased warming is predicted to hasten permafrost thawing (subsurface soil in the polar areas that remains below freezing point all year), as well as the loss of seasonal snow cover, land ice, and Arctic sea ice. 
  6. Under growing CO2 emissions scenarios, two of the world’s largest carbon sinks- the oceans and land- may become less effective at decreasing CO2 accumulation in the atmosphere.

Consequences for India

  1. The health of the yearly monsoon, the destiny of Himalayan glaciers, land warming, floods, droughts, and the overall impact on people’s well-being, agriculture, and food production are among India’s primary issues. 
  2. The paper predicts that “heatwaves and humid heat stress will become more extreme and frequent during the twenty-first century,” and that both yearly and summer monsoon rainfall would increase, with greater unpredictability between years.
  3. There is a great deal of uncertainty in such a circumstance. It’s worth noting that over the twentieth century, aerosol emissions, primarily from human activity, had a cooling effect over South Asia, among other locations, which countered increases in monsoon rainfall caused by warming. Persistent warming may overcome the aerosol effect, resulting in future high rainfall amounts.
  4. The forecast for snow-covered areas is once again bleak. In most parts of the Hindu Kush Himalaya, snow volumes are expected to diminish in the twenty-first century, with snowline heights rising and glacier volumes declining, with greater mass loss in scenarios with higher CO2 emissions.

Source: The Hindu
Syllabus: GS3 (Environment)

Download Yojna IAS Daily Current Affairs of 18th August 2021

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