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Issue 87
, 2019
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Changing Climate!

Ruby Rani
Source: Ruby Rani, Date: , 2019

Climate Emergency is a call on our elected leaders to declare an emergency against the rapidly changing climate causing a catastrophic threat to humanity and the eco-system. The United Kingdom has become the first country to declare Climate Emergency followed by Ireland, France and Canada.

More than 4,50,000 people have signed two petitions on demanding the government of India declare a climate emergency as every successive year is getting hotter, drier and more polluted.

Noticing the importance of climate change issue in the context of current scenario, Toxics Link organized a public lecture on ‘Is the climate changing?’. Dr Mrityunjay Mohapatra (known as Cycloneman of India), Scientist, Indian Meteorological Department, Wg Cdr Amit Chowdhury (Retd.), Indian Mountaineering Foundation and Dr. Anubha Agarwal, The Energy and Research Institute (TERI) were the panelists. Dr Mohap1tra described climate as an average condition of weather of a particular place. Climate change is an ongoing process, like it has changed in the past, it is changing now and it will change in the future. What raises concern is the rate in which it is changing. The radiation emitted from the surface of the earth cannot penetrate easily in the atmosphere, it gets stopped by the various types of gases available in the atmosphere. As it gets trapped, getting absorbed by the atmospheric constituents, the temperature increases in the atmosphere. So, the atmosphere gets heated due to the Earth, not the Sun. If the constituents of the atmosphere change by the natural processes or any anthropogenic activities, the constituents of the earth and the temperature also change leading to the changes of other atmospheric phenomena such as rainfall, monsoon and so on.

‘It takes at least 30 years of observation to define climate. The changing of climate cannot be defined by analyzing the data of 10 years or 20 years, it must be beyond 30 years’, Dr. Mohapatra further added.

The rising temperature and changing climate have an adverse impact on the mountains and mountaineering too. According to Wg Cmdr. Amit Chowdhury (Retd.), Indian Mountaineering Foundation, ‘The glaciers have been studied by our scientists and there are several places which have like the Gangotris, Chhota Sigri glacier, Bara Sigri glacier, Dokriani glacier, all these glaciers have been found to have decreased. We are also encouraging the adoption and respect of all mountain stakeholders of the agreed international declaration including the UIA’s own guidelines and charters in order to preserve mountain eco-systems and cultures’. Scientists and mountaineers have also warned that rising temperatures can also lead to the risk of deadly avalanches in Himalayas.