2016 is set to become the hottest year in humankind’s recorded history.
By Rakesh Agrawal
Climate change is no longer speculations and scientific studies. It is a clear and present danger as people across the world are feeling its shattering impacts. There may be a debate over its degree and impacts, but no one can deny it altogether.
While the IPCC or Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is accused of exaggerating it and many so-called experts and weathermen totally deny it, keeping their heads buried in the sand, hoping for the storm to pass. But the storm has hit the humankind hard.
This year’s unprecedented forest fires in Uttarakhand that engulfed about 3,800 hectare forest, with 1,600 incidents killing 9 and severely injuring 16 in May itself, was aggravated and spread, thanks to practically no winter precipitation, although, as usual, it was started either accidentally or intentionally by land and forest grabbers.
Climate change has resulted into the melting of many glaciers in Uttarakhand as a study by Dehradun-based Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology confirms. Accordingly, melting glaciers have formed 1,266 lakes in Uttarakhand’s Himalays, some of which have been created fresh by the rapid retreat of glaciers due to global warming.
And, thanks to the climate change, this year, 2016, is set to become the hottest year in humankind’s recorded history as the UK Met Office estimates and is hitting just not India that saw more than its 40 percent area affected by the drought and temperature in some places crossed 50 degrees, in Europe also the melting of the Greenland ice cap and its effect on the area around Greenland the immediate effects of climate change, according to the Department.
As if these impacts of climate change were not devastating enough, a new study just released by the UNEP, released at Nairobi in UN Environment Assembly, found that it makes crop poisonous and results into the rise in zoonotic diseases around the world.
The UNEP report examines how drought and high temperatures can trigger the accumulation chemical compounds that are toxic to animals and humans in staple crops like wheat, barley, maize and millet and poisoning in animals can lead to miscarriage, asphyxiation and death, ruining the lives of smallholder farmers and herders.
And, heavy rains after drought can also result in the dangerous accumulation of hydrogen cyanide, a toxic compound, or prussic acid in flax, maize, sorghum, arrow grass, cherries and apples. These fungal toxins: aflatoxins, can cause cancer and stunt fetal growth and aflatoxin contamination in maize, is expected to increase in higher latitudes due to rising temperatures. This toxin will become a food safety issue especially for Europe, thanks to a two degree rise in global temperatures.