By Gemechu Kedir
As a result of global warming, Ethiopian and other countries are being affected by drought followed by flood disaster.
The best clues to the ongoing global warming are being showed by different dynamic events. Ice is melting at an alarming rate of Alpine regions causing for nation’s of Australia, Switzerland and France. It has been estimated that one third of ice covered has disappeared over the last century. Global warming is aggravating the condition. According to climatologist from the university of Delaware, USA, who used to study climate models, a rise in temperature by 2-4 Degree Celsius will lead to a two fold increase in the number of hot day during summer. They propose that the number of heat related deaths in New York would go up from 380 to 880.Going by recent findings, global warming is changing our planet at much faster and unpredictable rate than it was believed earlier. It has resulted in 20 per cent more storms, 10 per cent more vegetation and early onset of spring in the northern hemisphere. In the evolutionary sense, these changes are enormous and they could have serious repercussions on the global climate. At this rate of warming, the Antarctic ice sheet could breakup more quickly than previously. Soils dry out sooner due to rising temperatures and result in drought.
Since the industrial revolution, atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) level have risen from an estimated 280ppm to 362ppm, contributing significantly to global warming. Highest temperatures of surface water, particularly in the tropics and sub tropics, mean more heat is released into the atmosphere. Scientists believed that this may be making storms more frequent, more intense and more destructive. One of the most important reasons for increasing emissions is the increasing use of automobiles. World automobile output in 1996 totaled 36 million vehicles, taking the global fleet of vehicles to 496 million.
Natural fires, effect of nesting cycles of the birds, shrinking sea ice, migration of habits and breeding animal, infection, thickness of Arctic ice and earthquake are other consequences of global warming being occurring at different corner of the world. Natural fires in China may be responsible for speeding up of the rate of global warming. In coal, fires of northern China could account for as much as 3 percent of world wide CO2 emissions of the Netherlands. The fires are increasing up to 200 million tones of coal a year. Many of them have been burning for years, some even for decades.
Effect nesting cycles of the birds can play considerable roles. As the birds that lay their eggs earlier occupy a variety of habitats, climate change appears to be the only variable that can explain the trend, say experts. Climatologists’ report in recent years indicates that spring has been arriving earlier in the northern hemisphere as a result of global warming.
Shrinking sea ice is a result of shrinking ice in the Arctic due to global warming. Rising temperature is reducing sea ice in the Arctic, endangering polar bears, seals and fishes. The western Arctic is one of the fastest warming regions in the world, warming at a rate of 0.75 Degree Celsius per decade for the past three decades. According to Greenhouse Press Report, this is several times the average global rate.
Global warming also aggravates migration of habits and breeding of animals; for instance, Costarican forest birds are migrating to cooler areas. These changes will have a very serious effect on human welfare, because millions of people depend on wildlife for food, clean water and medicine.
More over, it causes risk of infection. U.S researcher recently stated that climate change is most likely to have severe widespread impacts on human health with significant loss of life. According to them, global warming could be responsible for 65 per cent of the world population at risk of infection an increasing of 20 per cent. WHO has already recorded ‘quantitative leaps’ in malaria incidences in the resent years. Many diseases, like cholera and dengue that once were usually relegated to the tropical and subtropical countries, could possibly spread to different parts of the world, because increasing temperature and increasing rain fall changes weather patterns of many countries. Doctors in U.S have detected cases of malaria and dengue linked to climate change which was recorded in case first in U.S 1995.
The Arctic ice thickness became third thinner than it was in 1976. In 1970’s, the average thickness of Arctic ice used to be some 6 meters. Now it is down to just 4 meters. In Africa, it has been aggravating drought and worsening food crises. We can raise resent victims of El Nino caused drought being challenging like Ethiopia. Earthquake also is the result of global warming. High pressure of CO2 pumped from deep within the earth may lead the rock of San Andreas in California, USA to slide past each other and cause earthquake.
If so, what measures need to be taken to stop global warming?
Reducing the consumption of fossil fuels such as coal and petroleum; disposing the green house gases as they are formed; recovering green house gases present already in the atmosphere and disposing off them elsewhere; learning to adapt and accept the changing climate; controlling population growth rate by decreasing birth rate, afforestation (planting more trees on new areas), reforestation,reducing chlorofluorocarbons, trap and use of methane as fuel, shift from coal to natural gases or electric as energy source like wind power and solar energy are scholars suggested measure.
In general, natural fires, effect of nesting cycles of the birds, shrinking sea ice, migration of habitats and breeding of animals, infection, thickness of Arctic ice, drought and worsening food crises and sudden earthquake were scientifically identified consequences of global warming. World has been seeking to be one, but not seeking to fight against global warming strongly, why? While some part of world nations seek to decrease carbon emissions, but others kept silent, why? As a result of global warming, Ethiopian and other countries are being affected by drought followed by flood disaster.