How Climate Change Will Affect Major Cities

What is Climate Change

Climate Change is defined as ''a change in global or regional climate patterns, in particular a change apparent from the mid to late 20th century onwards..." It refers to the change in the planet’s climate, especially with reference to its atmospheric temperature.

A dangerous convergence, climate change along with urbanization is harming a lot of cities in its wake. According to a research, although cities cover less that 2% of the Earth’s surface area, they consume 78% of the world’s energy and produce 60% of the harmful gasses (greenhouse gas emissions) in return.

Due to climate change and global warming, our planet is getting really hot. By the end of this century, many cities will be uninhabitable if nothing is done to curb the rising temperatures.

Effects of Climate Change:

Already, the country of Philippines is facing threats such as El Nino, Ocean acidification and rise in sea water level due to climate change. El Nino is where the surface of ocean’s water becomes abnormally warm. The force created by this unnatural warming is so powerful that it can create an imbalance in the weather. Due to change in temperatures and whether conditions, Philippines may even face torrential rains and flooding in the coming few decades.  

Nature Climate Change recently released a scientific study data wherein it was deduced that Middle Eastern cities like Doha, Dubai, Bandar Mahshahr and Abu Dhabi will soon be too hot to sustain human life. Heat waves could reach up to a 170 degrees Fahrenheit by the year 2100. The terror has already begun. In July 2015, a heat wave that engulfed the Middle East saw Bandar Mahshahr’s temperature go up to 109 degrees Fahrenheit. An increase in temperature and a drop in humidity meant that residents were actually experiencing a temperature of 154 degrees Fahrenheit.

PC: Priya Saha

Ages ago, to grow and thrive, civilizations started building cities near water bodies. Now however, with rising water levels due to climate change, these very cities are under risk. 70% of the largest cities in Europe have areas that are vulnerable to rising sea levels. And there is no difference between developing and developed nations with regards to global warming. Port cities like San Antonio, Kolkata and Guangzhou are just as vulnerable as New York, Hamina and Tokyo. According to a World Bank report, 15 of the world’s 20 megacities are at risk from rising sea levels and coastal surges.

How to curb Climate Change:

Surprisingly though, many cities have still not addressed climate change issues. However, recently, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change took place in Paris. Major world leaders met up at the convention to negotiate an agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. And the output of the meeting has been encouraging. According to the UNFCCC Newsroom article dated 12th December 2015, ''An historic agreement to combat climate change, and unleash actions and investment towards a low carbon, resilient and sustainable future was agreed by 195 nations in Paris today. The Paris Agreement for the first time brings all nations into a common cause based on their historic, current and future responsibilities. The universal agreement’s main aim is to keep a global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius and to drive efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.” The agreement also aims at strengthening the countries’ abilities to combat and deal with climate change.

Climate change is a problem we all can tackle if we take efforts towards curbing it. Simple things like powering down electronics, switching your light bulb to an energy efficient one, changing air filters regularly, undertaking comprehensive sealing and insulating measures, using water efficiently, purchasing a fuel efficient car, properly using a programmable thermostat, buying food and other products with reusable or recyclable packaging, using public transport or a bicycle instead of your own vehicle can be implemented in our day to day lives. Together we can make a difference. Together, we can make the planet a better place to stay on.

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