Be it the rising temperatures of land, water and air, the progressively widening ozone hole, the burden of increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide levels , the melting ice at the poles or the growing acidity of the oceans, all suggest that Mother Earth is gradually warming up. 1983 to 2012 has undoubtedly been the hottest 30 year period within a span of the last 1400 years of our fossil fuel based lifestyles.
Scientists at the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Changes could predict the hazardous effects of climate change on our planet till the year 2100 only beyond which the changes might be catastrophic. So here is an insight into what our one and only home would be like in the year 2100 and what we can come up with to address the challenges we face.
The major changes:
- Extreme weathers, melted ice caps at poles, risen ocean levels. All devastating changes will occur due to an average 10-15 degrees rise in global temperature levels.
- Poorer air quality (smog, gases,etc) resulting in a hazy atmosphere making it perfect to face the sun directly without any protection on the eyes. Lesser visibility of stars in the night sky as compared to the lot seen a century ago.
- Ocean waters become acidic which poses a potential threat to marine ecosystems .
- Farms yield poor crop production.
- The ever increasing number of vehicles and wanderlust let into the air more and more emission leading to an increase in the Carbon dioxide footprint.
- Deforestation to make room for new farms, industries or living areas has been claimed to contribute to 11% of all man-made greenhouse gas emissions.
- Coastal populations which constitute a good 50% of the world population fraction will be rendered homeless all thanks to the vulnerable coasts.
Pre-requisites to avoid the catastrophe:
- Large scale use of renewable energy from the sun, winds and geothermal heat from the current 20% to more than 80% of the energy sector meanwhile phasing out the unrestricted use of fossil fuels.
- Building sustainable homes which would be half underground benefitting from geothermal heat and cover lesser square inches and have solar panels on the rooftops.
- Promotion of geoengineering to build skyscraping towers to trap greenhouse gas emissions, make artificial clouds and to reflect sunlight.
- Replacement of pastures with dense forests so as to counter the increasing carbon dioxide levels hence leading to consumption of less meat.
- Car pooling, public transports and vehicles driven on batteries are deliberately promoted so as to decrease emissions.
- Decreasing the overall load on earth by embracing population reduction strategies like China did.
- Majority of the electricity supply should be generated from low-carbon supplies and development of carbon capture methods to cut down the carbon legacy.
- Conservation of carbon sinks and vital ecosystems for root decarbonisation.
- To decrease vulnerability of population to climatic changes by proper strategy and rehabilitation.
- The Gross domestic product of developing countries be increased so that they can invest in healthy zero-carbon, climate resilient societies.