Touhida afroz Tani
Bangladesh is considered one of the country most at risk to the effects of climate change and its coastal area is most vulnerable. This study tries to explore the experiences of Climate change that is one of the most defining concerns of today’s world. This study concludes that results show an overall scenario of climate change. Climate change could affect our society through impacts on a number of different social, cultural, and natural resources. For example, climate change could affect human health, infrastructure, and transportation systems, as well as energy, food, and water supplies. Climate change may especially impact people who live in areas that are vulnerable to coastal storms, drought, and sea level rise or people who live in poverty, older adults, and immigrant communities. Similarly, some types of professions and industries may face considerable challenges from climate change. Professions that are closely linked to weather and climate, such as outdoor tourism, commerce, and agriculture, will likely be especially affected.
Climate change is happening. Earth’s average temperature has risen by 1.5°F over the past century, and is projected to rise another 0.5 to 8.6°F over the next hundred years. Small changes in the average temperature of the planet can translate to large and potentially dangerous shifts in climate and weather.
The evidence is clear. Rising global temperatures have been accompanied by changes in weather and climate. Many places have seen changes in rainfall, resulting in more floods, droughts, or intense rain, as well as more frequent and severe heat waves.
We are largely responsible for recent climate change. Over the past century, human activities have released large amounts of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. The majority of greenhouse gases come from burning fossil fuels to produce energy, although deforestation, industrial processes, and some agricultural practices also emit gases into the atmosphere.
Greenhouse gases act like a blanket around Earth, trapping energy in the atmosphere and causing it to warm. This phenomenon is called the greenhouse effect and is natural and necessary to support life on Earth. However, the buildup of greenhouse gases can change Earth’s climate and result in dangerous effects to human health and welfare and to ecosystems.
The choices we make today will affect the amount of greenhouse gases we put in the atmosphere in the near future and for years to come.
Climate Change Impacts
The changing climate impacts society and ecosystems in a broad variety of ways. For example, climate change can alter rainfall, influence crop yields, affect human health, cause changes to forests and other ecosystems, and even impact our energy supply. Climate-related impacts are occurring across the country and over many sectors of our economy.
Agriculture: The changing climate is having far reaching impacts on agricultural production, which are likely to challenge food security in the future. Climate change is likely to contribute substantially to food insecurity in the future, by increasing food prices, and reducing food production. Food may become more expensive as climate change mitigation efforts increase energy prices. Water required for food production may become more scarce due to increased crop water use and drought. Competition for land may increase as certain areas become climatically unsuitable for production. In addition, extreme weather events, associated with climate change may cause sudden reductions in agricultural productivity, leading to rapid price increases.
Coast: Anthropogenic emissions of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide and the associated global warming are resulting in gradual sea-level rise, with coastal areas being particularly affected. In addition, acidification and the warming marine waters will have far-reaching consequences for the communities of organisms that live in coastal ecosystems.
Energy: Climate change is likely to both increase electricity demand for cooling in the summer and decrease electricity, natural gas, heating oil, and wood demand for heating in the winter. Climate change could affect the amount of water available to produce electricity or extract fuel. In areas where water is already scarce, competition for water between energy production and other uses could increase. Sea level rise and more frequent intense storms could disrupt energy production and delivery by damaging electricity infrastructure, fuel delivery infrastructure and equipment, power plants, or storage facilities. Increases in temperature will likely increase our energy demand, as well as change our ability to produce electricity and deliver it reliably.
Transportation: Climate change is likely to damage transportation infrastructure through higher temperatures, more severe storms and flooding, and higher storm surges, affecting the reliability and capacity of transportation systems. Coastal roads, railways, ports, tunnels, and airports are vulnerable to sea level rise, which could lead to delays as well as temporary and permanent closures. Climate change impacts will likely increase the cost of the nation’s transportation systems.
Human health: Human health is vulnerable to climate change. The changing environment is expected to cause more heat stress, an increase in waterborne diseases, poor air quality, and diseases transmitted by insects and rodents. Extreme weather events can compound many of these health threats.
Climate change and fresh water: Climate change is having serious impacts on the world’s water systems through more flooding and droughts. Warmer air can hold a higher water content, which makes rainfall patterns more extreme. Rivers and lakes supply drinking water for people and animals and are a vital resource for farming and industry. Freshwater environments around the world are already under excessive pressure from drainage, dredging, damming, pollution, extraction, silting and invasive species. Climate change only exacerbates the problem and makes this worse. Extremes of drought and flooding will become more common, causing displacement and conflict.
How Can we Stop Global Warming?
· Plant trees
· Create more sustainable transportation habits
· Divest from coal, and encourage others to do the same
· Power your home with renewable energy.
· Convince your friends to behave sustainably
Invest in energy-efficient appliances.
What can we do Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions?
We are already experiencing the effects of climate change. Temperatures are rising, snow and rainfall patterns are shifting, and more extreme climate events like heavy rainstorms and record high temperatures are already taking place. These changes are linked to the climbing levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in our atmosphere, caused by human activities such as burning fossil fuels for energy. By taking action to reduce emissions of the greenhouse gas pollution that warms our planet, we can reduce the risks we will face from future climate change. EPA, businesses, and individuals all have an important role to play.
Burning fossil fuels such as natural gas, coal, oil and gasoline raises the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, and carbon dioxide is a major contributor to the greenhouse effect and global warming. You can help to reduce the demand for fossil fuels, which in turn reduces global warming, by using energy more wisely.
The following is a list of steps we can take to reduce greenhouse gas emissions:
Reduce, reuse and recycle: Buying products with minimal packaging will help to reduce waste. By recycling half of your household waste, you can save 2,400 pounds of carbon dioxide annually.
Use less heat and air condition: Adding insulation to your walls and installing weather stripping or caulking around doors and windows can lower your heating costs more than 25 percent, by reducing the amount of energy you need to heat and cool your home. Turn down the heat while you’re sleeping at night or away during the day, and keep temperatures moderate at all times. Install a programmable thermostat because setting it just 2 degrees lower in winter and higher in summer could save about 2,000 pounds of carbon dioxide each year.
Buy energy-efficient products: Home appliances now come in a range of energy-efficient models, and compact florescent bulbs are designed to provide more natural-looking light while using far less energy than standard light bulbs.
Use less hot water: Set your water heater at 120 degrees to save energy, and wrap it in an insulating blanket if it is more than 15 years old. Buy low-flow showerheads to save hot water and about 350 pounds of carbon dioxide yearly. Wash your clothes in warm or cold water to reduce your use of hot water and the energy required to produce it.
Use the ‘off’ switch: Save electricity and reduce global warming by turning off lights when you leave a room, and using only as lighter as you need. And remember to turn off your television, stereo and computer when you’re not using them. It’s also a good idea to turn off the water when you’re not using it. While brushing your teeth, shampooing the dog or washing your car, turn off the water until you actually need it for rinsing.
Plant a tree: If you have the means to plant a tree, start digging. Trees absorb carbon dioxide and give off oxygen. A single tree will absorb approximately one ton of carbon dioxide during its lifetime.
Get a report card from your utility company: Many utility companies provide free home energy audits to help consumers identify areas in their homes that may not be energy efficient. In addition, many utility companies offer rebate programs to help pay for the cost of energy-efficient upgrades.
Encourage others to conserve: Share information about recycling and energy conservation with your friends, neighbours and co-workers, and take opportunities to encourage public officials to establish programs and policies that are good for the environment.
Adopting a sustainable life isn’t easy, especially since it’s difficult to feel that your actions are truly making a difference. And each time you take a step to prevent global warming, you’re usually giving up something, whether it’s time, money, or convenience. That’s why you should make sure the sacrifice you’re making actually has a significant impact. Preventing global warming is more important than ever. We’re the last generation that can change the course of climate change, and will be the first to face its consequences if we don’t act now.
Author is a Student of Environmental Science and Engineering Department at Jatiya Kabi Kazi Nazrul Islam University, Trishal, Mymensingh—2224, Bangladesh