Climate Change only Part-Concern of a Larger Enigma
Climate Change Activists have been protesting for quite some time against the human inflicted climatic abuses. The concerns by various smaller groups had started in late 1980s but the first global effort was through the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) that made an international environmental treaty to combat "dangerous human interference with the climate system" in 1992. In the initial stages it was the concern for the environment but later “Climatic Changes” started getting prominence with the extremes of climate observed in different parts of planet Earth. In the recent decades strange climatic patterns have been observed that include extremes of temperatures (both high and low), extremes of weather patterns of rainfall, cloudburst, floods and draughts, extremes of cyclones and tornados and uncontrolled wildfires among other phenomena.
In these climatic changes, many believe that greenhouse gas effects by excessive carbon loads due to extensive use of fossil fuels is among the leading cause. Deforestation, methane and to some extent N2O, Halogenated gases and Volatile compounds emissions among others, are also believed to be contributory factors. The latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report mentions that in the last ~2000 yrs, CO2 has increased 47%, Methane 156% and N2O 23%. In a NASA report (graph shown below), global average temperature shows 1 deg C rise in the last 140 yrs which although not frightening, has huge impacts. There are several degradations taking place covertly too. A genuine question arises whether all the recent climatic extremes and phenomena that we are observing, is due to temperature rise alone.
The Greenhouse effects.
The major contributors of Greenhouse effects are the burning of Fossil Fuels and other sources of Carbon. These are non-renewable energy sources such as wood, coal & its products, natural gas, derived gas, crude oil, petroleum products and the non-renewable wastes. It is used essentially for producing electricity, heat, farming related activities, Industries, transportation, buildings and some other purposes. Some of the coal mines have caught fire accidentally and are burning 24x7 for several decades emitting greenhouse and other polluting gasses. Similar are events with forest fires too. These greenhouse gasses include Carbon dioxide (CO2), Nitrogen oxides (N2O), Methane (CH4), Ozone (O3), Fluorinated gases (Hydrofluorocarbons, Perfluorocarbons, Sulfur hexafluoride SF6, and Nitrogen trifluoride NF3), water vapour and some other trace gasses. Some of these gasses do enter the regeneration cycle (like photosynthesis, N2 cycle, rains etc) but some others may remain in the atmosphere for decades or even over a century.
In spite of being major source of atmospheric pollution and greenhouse effects, the fossil fuel remained off the Radars of the world policy makers till 2021 Glasgow climate convention. Burning of Coal has been the second worst polluter in China, Australia, US and to very smaller extent India. These nations have a fairly large resource of coal used for energy production. Clean and renewable energy production may be the answer for the globe. Besides, some literature also suggests of about million-year cycle of global temperatures changing from ice-age to oven-experience, unsubstantiated though.
In brief the effects of temperature changes due to the Greenhouse Effects are/will be as follows: Climate changes (of season change, temp rise, more draught and heat waves, increase in unpredictable precipitation), ice/glacier melting, rise in river/Sea level, submersion of the low-lying coastal lands, unexpected flooding, frequent and extensive wildfires, increase in the arid lands, loss of vulnerable flora and fauna etc. If Greenhouse effects of warming the Earth continues unabated without adequately cutting off the incoming infrared contents of the Sun, the temperature will keep rising to the extent that sustaining human lives will need extensive heat adaptation and lives without life support will get extremely difficult. Most of the temperate and cold vegetation will gradually disappear. Such temp rise will also expand all fluids (both water and air), air density and atmospheric pressure will fall (along with fall in the partial pressure of Oxygen), lapse rate of fall in temp with altitudes will diminish, lives at higher altitudes will be……ofenvelop),
Multiple factors of Environmental Erosion
Temperature related climate changes are one thing but there are many other factors too that are involved in the Earth and its Environmental decays. These include damages to the atmospheric blanket, over-exploitation of Earth’s crusts, Earth quakes, massive mud-slides on mountains, volcanic activities and so on. Nuclear contaminations following accidents and threats of nuclear conflagration could become the single man-made destructive device, that could make the entire Earths environment uninhabitable.
We know deforestation is adding up to the atmospheric carbon load but we tend to miss out on other implications of deforestation…that loss of plantation will lead to impeded natural oxygen generation and will increase the solar heating of the crusts of Earth causing regional heat-waves, wild fires etc. Extensive wild fire also has a vicious cycle with greenhouse effects, loss of green vegetation, drying of Earth’s crust, depleted environmental regeneration and climate changes. Year 2020 and 2021 witnessed unprecedented wild fires in America (Arizona, California, Colorado), Brazil, Mexico, Turkey, Greece to mention a few. This will cause massive soil erosion and also reduce the capability of Earth’s surface to hold water thus resulting in floods/flash floods. Thus it is increasingly being felt that far too many variables may be at play simultaneously in the degradation of Earth’s Environment, of which Climate Changes could be one of the groups of manifestations.
Exploitation of Sub-soil water, Fossil Fuel, Coal and minerals could be contributory to the natural disasters, draughts, quakes and so on. If some of the minerals of earth also contribute partially to the Earth’s magnetism, its over exploitation may also lead to changes in the magnetic fields. Do electrical current flows on rotating earth and hundreds of megawatts of earthing current flow in to the Earth affect its magnetism? Only an Earth scientist of possibly electrical engineers can comment. It could be a topic for research. As is known that our increased heavy rocket launches along with some other reasons (like CFC emission) are drilling numerous holes in the Ozone layer; this combined with magnetic field changes could prove to be catastrophic for the living being.
Atmospheric losses due to heavy and faster rockets are also causing the loss of our precious atmosphere into the vacuum of space and also shrinking the thickness, of the extent to the altitudes (Massive shock waves of Space launching : Big Threat to our atmosphere; https://www.researchgate.net/publication/355444591_Massive_Shock_Waves_of_Space_Launches_Big_Threat_to_Atmosphere ).
We know deforestation is adding up to the atmospheric carbon load but we tend to miss out on other implications of deforestation…that loss of plantation will lead to impeded natural oxygen generation and will increase the solar heating of the crusts of Earth and thus localised of a small regional heat-wave, wild fires. Extensive wild fire also has a vicious cycle with greenhouse effects and climate changes. Year 2020 and 2021 has seen unprecedented wild fires in America (Arizona, California, Colorado), Brazil Amazon fires, Mexico, Turkey, Greece to mention a few. This will cause massive soil erosion and also reduce the capability of Earth’s surface to hold water thus resulting in floods/flash floods. Thus it is increasingly being felt that far too many variables may be at play simultaneously in the degradation of Earth’s Environment, of which Climate Changes could be one of the groups of manifestations.
Earth’s surface and its interior too is getting more and more unstable. Uncontrolled excavations are causing cave-ins. There are more and more Earth Quakes, although it may not have direct links with the over-exploitation of the resources. The Himalayas, the largest and highest of the mountains as well as those of smaller ones elsewhere are also showing signs of instability due to frequent landslides, flash floods and collapses/bursts of glaciers. It has not been long when India experienced one such episode in Chamoli distt of Uttarakhand and more such occurrences may be in the offing.
There is another important factor that some scientific reports suggest…that even a small scale climatic warming is causing more volcanic activity (https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/get-ready-for-more-volcanic-eruptions-as-the-planet-warms/). They tried to link it to the size of ice cover with frequent volcanic eruptions. However, there are many unanswered questions. Volcanic eruptions may have vicious cycle with climate warming. It is a significant factor. Most of the volcanic eruptions can be seen from space.
From Indian point of views, thanks to PM Narendra Modi who made it crystal clear that India contributed only 5% to the global carbon emission and the major polluters were USA and China. Till now, every agency had tried to unnecessarily compare India with China as polluters. All Climate Conferences prior to Glasgow 2021 tried to keep ‘Fossil Fuel’ on the backburners to please the major polluters of the climate. It was only in 2021 Conference that it emerged as a major concern.
All major world powers are absolutely quiet on the climatic and environmental damages that could be caused by Nuclear Explosions. It is a matter of some transient solace that no nuclear conflagration has taken place after world war II. However, the world is at tenterhooks. Today there are many nations who possess nuclear bombs, some overtly and declared nuclear nations and some others covertly. There is an urgent need for the UNSC to compel all nuclear nations including those at the threshold, to sign no first use. Should one rogue nation use it, there will surely be chain of counter-attacks and then the world could be at perils. The environmental degradation following the nuclear explosions will be unimaginable in which the entire humanity will suffer. The after effects of the nuclear explosions will encompass even non-nuclear nations in its vicinity and make the atmosphere severely degraded, almost uninhabitable.
This article intends to summarise that the present movements in the world laying sole or main emphasis on the preservation of planet Earth by Climatic Consideration is misplaced. The Earth is being continuously being degraded by multitudes of factors. The main culprits are the greenhouse effects of temperature caused mainly by the carbon loads of fossil fuel and Coal burning. The other factors that will make our planet un-inhabitable is the nuclear explosions that only needs a trigger by any of the rogue nations possessing it. Surely a chain of retaliatory explosions will follow. There are stockpiles of thousands of nuclear bombs that can destroy our planet or at least make it uninhabitable. There is a need for Climate Activists to visualise the greater picture to preserve our precious environment so that we and our next generations could live safely, breathing healthy air.