Earth Praying for Mercy…!!!
No one can say , what it looks like when a planet falls ill , but it probably look a lot like EARTH…!!! Never mind you’ve heard about Global Warming as a slow motion emergency that would take decades to play-out . Suddenly and unexpectedly, the crises is on.
It certainly looked that way in 2006 as the atmospheric bomb , that was a cyclone Larry- a category 4 storm with wind speed over 150mph , exploded in nearly arid North-Eastern Australia. It certainly looked that way last year as curtains of fire and dust turned the skies of Indonesia orange, thanks to drought-fueled blazes sweeping the island nation . It certainly looked that way four years back as Oklahoma was attacked by largest tornado of all time (category F-5, with wind speed 430kmph ) causing a damage of 2billion dollars. And it certainly looked that way as the sodden wreckage of New Orleans continues to molder, with over 25 major hurricanes hitting in just 90 days. Disasters have always been with us and surely will be. But when they hit so hard and come this fast, something must have gone grievously wrong. And that something is GLOBAL WARMING.
“Global warming can seem too remote to worry about, or too uncertain”- something projected by same computer technologists that often can’t get next week’s weather right. From Alaska to the snowy peaks of Himalayas, the world is heating up now and fast. Globally the temperature is up by 1OC over the past century, but some of the coldest spots like Greenland, have warmed up more. Ice is melting, rivers are running dry and coasts are eroding, threatening the communities. The changes are happening largely out of sight. But they shouldn’t be out of mind, because they are omens of what’s in store for rest of the planet.
Drought and flood, famine and pestilence, tornado and hurricane, name your calamity and I can bet 90% of those can be blamed on Global Warming. Many scientists say “Climate is notoriously fickle”. Sure , the natural rythms of climate might explain a few of the warming signs, but something else is driving the planet-wide fever.
From centuries we’ve been clearing forests, and burning coal, oil and gas, pouring CO2 and other heat-trapping gases into the atmosphere faster than plants and oceans can soak them. We’re now geological agents, capable of affecting the processes that determine climate. In effect, we’re piling extra blankets on our planet. Global temperatures are shooting up faster than any other time in past thousand years. Some experts fear today’s temperature rise could accelerate into devastating climate lurch. Continuing to fiddle with global thermostat is not just the wise thing to do.
But the damage is already done. Already we’ve pumped out enough greenhouse gases to warm the planet for many decades to come. The Arctic is warming several times faster than most of the planet, ice there is melting on land and at sea. The release of freshwater into oceans has led to rise of sea-level, which has already rang alarm for New York, California and many more cities supporting millions of people, including our very own Mumbai.
The largest effect of Global Warming in past decade is La Ninā in 1988 and El Ninō in 1997 which blasted away the pressure belts of earth’s atmosphere leading to grand scale damage worldwide including India. Indian monsoons were the only part effected from our side.
From past 2.5 million years Earth’s climate has cycled through ice age. In most recent episodes, ice grew over tens of thousands of years until it formed large continental ice sheets. It then retreated quickly, and the Earth entered warm inter-glacial period. And now we have entered the era of warming due to our activities which have put our planet in the fireplace to roast.
Computer models project that continued warmings could trigger the rearrangement of currents, perhaps leading to abrupt climate changes in the world, whose trailers are already in front of us. We’ll have a better idea of actual changes in the next 10 years, because all of us will have lived through them. But it is surely going to be a difficult world. The weather is going to change. It is fine now, but that’s the end; It’s turning rough tomorrow.
The signs of warming are striking enough, but they are just a taste of havoc the next century could bring. Can we act in time to avert the worst of it..?? The Earth will tell….!!!