Global average temperature is increasing by 0.15 to 0.20 degree Celsius per 10 years, in line with projections 25 years ago; the role of anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gasses in temperature rise increasingly evident. Carbon dioxide alone accounting for more than 70 percent of such emissions.
Going unabated at this rate, (technically called Business as usual or, BaU scenario) beyond 2030/2050, the rise in temperature, the changes in rainfall and drought and the rise in sea level are likely to pass critical thresholds (if not before then) and likely to be irreversible thereafter eventually leading to 4 to 6 degrees global av. temp. rise by 2100!
The definitive signatures of climate change on our environment are:
Ice caps of Greenland and Antarctica and North Pole summer ice cover are melting faster than earlier anticipated;
Sumer Sea Ice Extent in the Arctic lowest on Record.
BaU projections, or in the absence of immediate drastic measures, potential global tipping points might be reached. The scarier possibilities that can emerge are:
1. Melt of polar ice sheets
2. Greening of Sahara deserts.
3. Dieback of Amazon rainforests and other forests.
4. Chaotic monsoon pattern in Indian subcontinent.
5. African monsoon shift.
6. Climatic change induced enormous ozone hole and its effects.
In order to arrest such calamitous consequences, reduction in CO2 emissions and stimulating investments in renewable is the only way out.
On the personal front, we can take small steps such as:
a. Make a few small changes in our home and around reduces greenhouse gas emissions by:
b. Switching to public transportation, carpooling, biking, or telecommuting, can save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions on your way to and from work.
c. To improve the fuel economy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, go easy on the brakes and gas pedal, avoid hard accelerations, reduce your time spent idling, and unload unnecessary items in your trunk to reduce weight.
d. Get regular tune-ups, follow the manufacturer’s maintenance schedule, and use the recommended grade of motor oil. A well-maintained car is more fuel-efficient, produces fewer greenhouse gas emissions, is more reliable, and is safer!
e. Replace the most frequently used light fixtures with those consuming less energy.
f. Simple steps like changing air filters regularly, properly using a programmable thermostat, and having your heating and cooling equipment maintained annually by a qualified contractor can save energy and increase comfort, while helping to protect the environment.
g. Seal and insulate your home and reduce the power bill to maintain its atmosphere.
h. Reducing, reusing, and recycling newspapers, beverage containers, paper, and other goods in your home and office helps conserve energy and reduces pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from resource extraction, manufacturing, and disposal.
j. Composting your food and yard waste reduces the amount of garbage that you send to landfills and reduces greenhouse gas emissions.
k. Maintain ideal body weight (i.e. BMI). Disproportionately obese people require increased quantities of fuel to transport themselves and the food they eat.
And finally, l. spread the word: Give a presentation to your family, school, or community group that explains how their actions can cause or reduce climate change.