Global warming and climate change
Global warming is the heating up of the Earth which is caused predominantly by the burning of fossil fuels (oil, coal and natural gas), that releases carbondioxide into the air which acts as a blanket, trapping heat and energy in the planet’s atmosphere and it is also caused due to increasing levels of greenhouse gases (GHG) in the air. Global warming is causing climate patterns to change. However, global warming itself represents only one aspect of the climate. Whereas Climate change is the altering of climate patterns (e.g. more precipitation, more intense storms, floods or droughts) on Earth caused by the global warming and other human engineered activities and natural phenomena.
Over the past century the mean global temperature has risen by about 1 degree Celsius from 13.7 °C to 14.3 °C with accelerated warming during the past two decades. The 1990s were, in many respects, the warmest years of the 20th century. Most of the world’s glaciers have receded over the last few decades. The concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere—the chief cause of the greenhouse effect—has risen from 280 parts per million (ppm) to 360 ppm since the start of the industrial revolution, through the burning of fossil fuels. The buildup of these GHG which includes Carbondioxide (CO2), Methane (CH4), Nitrous oxide, “laughing gas” (N2O), Tropospheric ozone (O3), Chlorofluorocarbons (CFC-12), Sulfur Hexafluoride (SF6), water vapor etc. is the most likely cause of the growing incidence of extreme weather conditions such as violent storms, floods, wield fire, droughts etc.
There is stronger evidence that most of the global warming over the last 50 years is attributable to human activities. Human activities have altered the chemical composition of the atmosphere through the buildup of GHG – primarily carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide that are among the most sun’s heat-trapping gases.
Sea level rise due to climate change, water covers many low land islands coastal areas.
The main causes of climate change in developing countries including Ethiopia comprises burning of fossil fuels (coal/crude oil) for power plants, transportation, industrial processes etc. and also other greenhouse gas emissions for agriculture, land use change and forestry, waste management, industrial process etc. Ethiopia’s GHG emissions are dominated by agriculture, which contributes 80% of the total GHG emissions.
With all uncertainties, the world still seems reluctant and/or not ready to respond effectively to climate change, which could be partly due to a general lack of public understanding on the issues of climate change and opportunities for effective responses. This ignorance to global warming and the climate change leads us to extreme events such as heat waves, cold waves, storms, floods and droughts and beyond this it can also affect our life by causing extreme health impacts such as increasing the risk of infectious diseases, chronic diseases such as cancer, decreases productivity, increases risk of malnutrition, population displacement, overexposure to UV radiation, etc.
All continents of the planet are affected by global warming and clement change in varying form and magnitude, the effect is magnificent in Africa where the majority of the population lives in rural areas where dependent on the regular pattern of the natural phenomena and rain as an ultimate source of water for crop production and animal husbandry. Poverty, recurrent droughts, population growth and urbanization, inequitable land distribution, over exploitation of resources, subsistence rain-fed agriculture, etc. are the results and contributing factors for the growing effect of global warming and climate change. The change in the climate in the nations creates pressures in the sectors which are vulnerable to climate change like agriculture, water, ecosystems, human health, energy etc. Coastal areas and cities are facing challenges of sinking due to the ever increasing sea level the result of glacial ice melt whereas inland water bodies are continuously diminishing and vanishing in Africa and of which lake Haromaya is a principal example among the effects of climate changes in the high lands of Ethiopia.
Past events showed that severe weather conditions such as droughts and floods have historically imposed heavy costs in Ethiopia and even the projected impacts of climate change may affect the consequences of these events, and could potentially affect progresses in key development areas such as food security, water resources management, health, and economic growth.
Based on the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assessment, it is found that recent reports from the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) indicated that there has been an increase in seasonal mean temperature in many areas of Ethiopia. According to the UNDP climate change country profiles, the average annual temperature in Ethiopia increased by 1.3ºC between 1960 and 2006. The daily temperature observations also show an increase in the average number of ‘hot’ days and ‘hot’ nights per year whereas, the average annual temperature is projected to increase by 1.1°C to 3.1°C by the 2060’s.
Climate change is one of the 6 cross-cutting thematic priorities of United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) that are listed as climate change, disaster and conflict, ecosystem management, environmental governance, harmful substance and hazardous waste and resource efficiency. Currently, Climate change is one of the main priorities of Ethiopia and efforts being made mitigating the progress and effects of climate change and global worming through building green and climate resilience economy.
Nitsuh Ethiopia Environmental Services PLC, as part of the global regional and local initiative, we are providing technical contributions through consultancy services, conducting research and Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA), Infectious diseases Impact Assessments (IIA), Environmental Audit (EA) engaged in awareness creation activities to the general public, policy makers and idea leaders in different approaches in order to mainstream the environment and its synergetic effect in all human engineered activities and day to day life of the society.
The launching of Man & Environment Radio show dedicated on human health, safety and the environment, enthusiastic on the general health of the ecosystem than the single specious for healthy and happy society is one of our central effort and commitment to see a society that can understand their impact on the environment and able to cure desperate survival issues in to sustainable development.
Deforestation and Degradation,