Are we ready for it…?
Waves of tourists, activists, protestors and leaders worldwide had gathered near the heart of Glasgow, Clyde river in the Scottish event campus to attend the COP26(United Nations Climate Change Conference).
As Rebels in red and blue march the streets, teen activists ramping up the heat, the whole episode ends in a shout that the race to control climate change has begun soberly.
So, What is the moot about?
It refers to a set of political and economic reforms that limits the rise of average surface global temperature 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels(conservative estimate after circa 1850). And that too comes with a 50% probability. Most of the warming comes from the release of carbon dioxide. 1.5 may seem small but we have to know that the average temperature difference between the last Great Ice Age and current is only 5°C. So we are pretty close, aren’t we?.
So,where are we now?
Most of the warming comes from the release of carbon dioxide. An analogy would be we got a carbon budget of 3000 bucks to spend(Here bucks ~Gigatonnes of GHG emissions) and we have already wasted 2500 bucks. We have to be thrifty with the rest.
Why is the title anthropocene extinction?
The term “ANTHROPOCENE” was championed by Nobel prize laureate Paul Crutzen, the guy who saved the world by discovering the mechanism of the ozone layer. We broke away from Holocene and officially entered into the Age of Humans, for many geological-scale changes people have affected. We have diverted many rivers, transformed lands and more importantly started technological and agricultural practice which released phenomenal levels of nitrogen and GHG which altered the atmosphere.
Humans have introduced invasive species and boy, they do cause chaos in a balanced habitat. Then the tropical species tend to have a narrow thermal tolerance. They keep migrating to keep up with climatic warm-ups until their habitat shrinks to a point.
Then the spread of chytrid fungus cross-continent through transportation, a situation which was unprecedented before. The fungus was responsible for the extinction of many amphibians worldwide and still sending many towards their oblivion. Even though it remains a theory no other plausible explanation seems to come up.
Next up is global warming’s evil nephew ocean acidification. Yes, your breakfast algae could become poisonous in the coming decades. The acidification widely disturbs the calcifiers by altering the concentration of carbonate ions in water. Acidification disturbs the symbiotic relationship between zooxanthellae and reefs by cutting off its food source.
Coral reef ecosystems are defined by the large, wave-resistant calcium carbonate structures, or reefs, that are built by reef calcifiers. Reef ecosystems have served as “cradles of evolution” throughout Earth’s biological history. As most marine organisms had originated from it. With them going towards extinction the whole ecosystem will be disturbed. Over half a billion people depend on reefs for food, income, and protection. They are the source for cutting edge medicines, protect the shorelines from waves and coastal erosion. Above all the quarter of all ocean’s fish that depend on it.
There is increasing levels of cognitive dissonance from the majority of the population, who think good of nature but their action suggest otherwise. There is an increasing demand for economic growth but at a cost of nature We are changing nature on a global scale and the impacts of our actions are being distributed unequally. But it will reach all of us in the next few decades.