As a result of human-induced climate change, various weather and climate extremes are now occurring in every region across the globe. Extreme weather events such as heatwaves, torrential rainfall, droughts, and tropical cyclones are becoming more often, with evidence pointing to human influence. And sadly, this is expected to worsen until there is a change in the way we interact with nature and unless we respond to this crisis by creating inclusive and green economies.
The recent unusually hot and dry weather has ignited hundreds of wildfires destroying forests throughout the globe, spewing smoke, and threatening to set a new record in the living memory of humanity. These series of wildfires have passed, like a baton, from one part of the world to another, going from the US to the Amazon to Australia to Turkey to Greece and to Algeria.
We’re reaching a point where the impacts of climate change are becoming too hard to ignore for many people. Every inhabited region in the globe has witnessed and seen a well-documented increase in heat waves, heavy rain or drought.
The recent deadly floods that swept through western Europe such as Germany and Belgium have shown the failure of humanity to adapt and live in this world under changing climate. The magnitude of destruction couldn’t be expressed better than the words of the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, during her visit to the flood-stricken parts of the country.
“The German language can barely describe the devastation” she said. European scientists are baffled as to how such damage could occur in some of the world’s wealthiest and most technologically advanced countries despite their huge investment in research and forecasting. This has proven that despite the fact scientists have been predicting increasingly extreme weather events for decades, we are hopelessly unprepared to deal with them.
The latest IPCC report released on Monday, using its strongest language, is expected to serve as a wake-up call, with the findings warning of hotter temperatures, more frequent and severe weather events, and in some cases irreversible climate damage. If countries need to live up to their promises and commitments in the Paris Agreements, they have to act now and make realistic changes and dramatically lower emissions in line with the currently available science, and this can only be accomplished by dethroning oil, coal, and gas as the primary energy sources driving the world economy.
About the Author
Author: Ayanle Shuaib
Sustainable Infrastructure, Water, Environment and Climate Change Expert
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Horndiplomat editorial policy.
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