Yes, this summer was the coldest in our life. Climate change is a fact, we have to change our attitudes, and lifestyles and think before making choices that how much climate will be affected.
Climate protection must be our priority. Unprecedented events happened this year across the globe, you can see fluctuations in temperature, heavy storms in winter, floods, droughts, and heat waves. We have experienced the hottest days in spring, rapid melting of glaciers, droughts in Europe (which we never imagined), fires in the woods, and severe floods in many parts of the world. Climate change is the biggest problem of the 21st century. I would say, we have to take action before it gets late. Currently, Pakistan is facing a devastating flood and the country is in a state of emergency. The flood has ravaged crops, humans’ lives, and infrastructure in the developing economy. This situation has posed further threats to the crumbling economy of Pakistan. Pakistan is already in huge debt and I am afraid that Pakistan will collapse to cope with this coming crisis.
Look at developed countries, Europe has seen unusual droughts and fires in the forest due to heatwaves. The water level went down in several major rivers in Europe. The Rhine is the second largest river in Europe which flows from the Swiss Alps to the North Sea, the Rhine River is an important shipping route for many products from grains to chemicals to coal. When water levels drop, cargo vessels need to sail with reduced load, so they don’t run aground. According to International Energy Agency (IEA)’s report 2021, the warming rate augmented significantly in the last four decades, particularly in the summer, affecting the Mecsek, the central Danube region, and the eastern part of the country the most. Since 2000, the average rate of warming has been higher (0.0570°C per year) than the global average (0.0318°C per year). Hungary’s temperature change is linked to a decrease in the number of frost days and an increase in hot days. On this year July, the temperature of 41.5 °C (106.7 °F) was recorded at Kiskunfélegyháza and Hódmezővásárhely, which almost broke the all-time temperature record of 41.9 °C (107.4 °F) for Hungary. The greatest increase in the frequency of hot days has been in central and southern Hungary. The report says Hungary is at high risk for floods and at medium risk for droughts.
Due to the low supply of gas from Russia EU, many countries are planning to return to coal-based energy which will result in high emissions of CO2 in the environment. The air will become polluted and warm. Next summer will be hotter than the current one. Again, I emphasize that it is time to change our mentality and attitudes toward climate.
In developing countries, I see a lack of education and awareness about climate change. People have no idea what is climate change and what factors accelerate the change. So, we can’t expect any actions from them to protect the climate. Even though this education is simple and logical but it does not exist in developing countries. The ground reality is different from what we think of. People have no education on how can their little actions change the climate. In Pakistan, burning the residues of crops is illegal but the farmers perform this practice repeatedly, first, there is no rule of law, and second people themselves don’t realize the consequences of their actions. Here, the responsibility comes to international players, especially those who benefitted themselves from this huge industrialization without determining the emission of CO2 and compromising on climate. But, I still appreciate Western and developed countries, sooner or later at least they comprehended and started taking action. I urge the EU, UN, and US, to allocate some funds for the awareness of climate change in developing countries (Asia, Africa, and South America).
Dr. Awais Qadir is a researcher at the Technical University of Freiberg in Germany. Dr. Qadir is used to write articles and blogs on science and social issues. He has worked in several country in Europe.
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