Failure In 2011 Is The Opportunity To Begin 2012 More Intelligently – OpEd


We are beginning a new year, and the silence in countries all over the world by concerned authorities is still deafening. Will there ever be a debate about what should be done to deal with climate change?

2012, The Year of the Dragon is a lot of things. It is the UN Year of Sustainable Energy for All. The year Nostradamus predicts the world will end, again. It could also prove to be a crunch year for climate change action.

Throughout 2011 we are likely to see some of the effects of climate change stinging. Global warming means killer storms more worse than Katrina and Gustav, Unexpected flooding in Asia, Drought in Eastern Europe, Unseasonal heavy rains in western Africa, have also reduced crop yields, further hampering the chances of relief. 2012 will also be the first year in which the world has had 7 billion mouths to feed throughout all 12 months. But Drought in Eastern Europe this winter has affected the grain harvest raising prices and lowering hopes for famine relief in Africa.

Scientists predict an increase in sea levels worldwide due to the melting of two massive ice sheets in Antarctica and Greenland, especially on the East coast of the U.S. However, many nations around the world will experience the effects of rising sea levels, which could displace millions of people. One nation, the Maldives, is already looking for a new home.

Researchers from the United Kingdom and Norway say that global carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels have increased by 49 percent in the last two decades.

2011 was an unprecedented year for climate induced extreme events. UK International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell has warned that the world is “dangerously unprepared” for major crises and disaster relief.

Record-breaking temperatures made headlines early in year 2011, when NASA announced that 2010 tied with 2005 as the warmest year on record. Data from three major institutions are all in agreement that the latest decade has been the warmest on record, with the previous three decades all showing a clear increasing trend.

According to scientific assessments of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the global world temperature increased by 0.6˚C over the last century and is forecasted to further amplify, between 1.4 to 5.8˚C, before the present century ends.

One of the clearest warnings in 2011 came from the International Energy Agency (IEA) who said that the world has just five years to prevent dangerous climate change.

Research published at COP17 in Durban from the International Center for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) – which is responsible for tracking glacier retreat – found examples across all regions of Asia’s mountainous Hindu Kush-Himalayan, where 30% of the world’s glaciers are found alongside some of the world’s highest peaks, including Mount Everest.

Global warming is causing the melting of glaciers in the Himalayas. In the short term, this means increased risk of flooding, erosion, mudslides and GLOF in Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and north India during the wet season. Because the melting of snow coincides with the summer monsoon season, any intensification of the monsoon and/or increase in melting is likely to contribute to flood disasters in Himalayan catchments.

In the longer term, global warming could lead to a rise in the snowline and disappearance of many glaciers causing serious impacts on the populations relying on the 7 main rivers in Asia fed by melt water from the Himalayas. Throughout Asia one billion people could face water shortage leading to drought and land degradation by the 2050s.

Global warming is causing damage to Pakistan’s environment, as well. Among the impacts felt and seen are biodiversity loss, rise in the sea level, increased draught, shifts in the weather patterns, increased flooding, changes in freshwater supply and an increase in extreme weather events. These could also lead to alterations in forests and crop yields. Not only that, climatic changes could also affect human health, animals and many types of eco-systems.

The CO2 concentration in the atmosphere, currently at 389 ppm, is now higher than at any time in at least 800.000 years, Increasing CO2 concentrations and global temperature over the long term can also trigger slow processes further amplifying climate change, such as growing potential for the large-scale release of carbon in the form of methane stored in deep-sea sediments and permafrost, and triggering responses of the ice sheets in Greenland and West Antarctica over several thousands of years, gradually resulting in large-scale changes in sea level.

Delegations from hundreds of nations will be meeting 3rd International Conference on Environmental Science and Development (ICESD 2012), Organized by: Universiti Putra Malaysia and 2012 International Conference on Clean and Green Energy (ICCGE 2012) The ICESD 2012 is sponsored by Asia-Pacific Chemical, Biological & Environmental Engineering Society (APCBEES), (both on Jan. 05, HK China), are going to held,

The aim of the seminar is to provide a discussion platform for cutting-edge statistical methods in research in the areas of medicine, biotechnology, agriculture, forestry, engineering, social science.

The aim of the ICESD conference series is to provide a forum for laying the foundations of a new principled approach to Environmental Science and Development. To this end, the meeting aims to attract participants with different backgrounds, to foster cross pollination between different research fields, and to expose and discuss innovative theories, frameworks, methodologies, tools, and applications.

It is apparent that there is still much to be discussed on both the international and local community level on climatic and environmental issues. From manmade and natural disasters to global environmental policies, people world wide are made aware of environmental concerns. But the efforts being made to resolve or at the least improve them rarely make it to the headlines. Today, environmental awareness is widespread. Sensible persons are learning more about global climate change and their culpability in this degradation and are making changes in their everyday lives, but till concerned authorities not took proper and wise practicable steps, these little bit efforts would be useless, good hopes for coming new year 2012,because all’s well that ends well.

One thought on “Failure In 2011 Is The Opportunity To Begin 2012 More Intelligently – OpEd

  • January 10, 2012 at 6:12 pm

    “The year Nostradamus predicts the world will end, again.”????

    You mean like every December of every year . . . the year ends and a new year begins???

    If not, I don’t agree with your interpretation of Nostradamas!

    And if we are still here, on that date . . . you will be wrong . . .


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