Most of us know that conservation efforts need to start from within the threshold of our homes and through collective efforts involving the family. Going green as a concept has gained precedence in the last few years, but we still have a long way to go. This includes taking up serious conservation efforts in our community, greening our surroundings, curtailing the use of plastic, segregation of waste and composting, reducing consumption of packaged items and so much more.
Children, when made to understand the importance of saving the environment, with interesting facts and figures, are much more receptive than even adults. Many school-going children have heard about global warming but do they really know the repercussions of climate change around the world?
Here are some thought-provoking points that will pique their interest --
1. A new study, The State of the Global Air 2017 by US-based Health Effects Institute shows that air pollution is the 5th biggest cause of global deaths worldwide. In 2015, long-term exposure to PM 2.5 (particulate matter) contributed to 4.2 million deaths. China and India together accounted for 52 per cent of the total global deaths caused by PM 2.5.
2. Much of the world’s wildlife is not able to adjust to the rapidly changing climate. Experts predict that one-fourth of Earth’s species will be headed for extinction by 2050 if the warming trend continues at its current rate. In 1999, the death of the last Golden Toad in Central America marked the first documented species extinction driven by climate change.
3. The increase in carbon dioxide levels and other poisonous emissions into the air are responsible for the planet's average surface temperature to rise by about 1.1 degrees Celsius since the late 19th century. Most of the warming occurred in the past 35 years, with 16 of the 17 warmest years on record occurring since 2001. The hottest year on record is 2016. (Source: NASA).
4. Global warming has accelerated the melting of glaciers and depletion of ice cover. Due to melting ice in the Arctic, the extinction of polar bears is not far away. They will probably be gone from the earth in another 100 years.
5. Island nations such as Maldives in the Indian Ocean and the Marshall Islands in the Pacific Ocean are under severe threat of rising sea levels and even a few feet of sea level rise can fully submerge these islands.
6. Rising ocean temperatures caused by climate change have turned the beautiful and vibrant corals in the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, white. The reef is a World Heritage Area and extends to more than 2,000 kms.
7. According to information collected from NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment, the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets have been steadily depleting. Greenland lost 150 to 250 cubic kms of ice per year between 2002 and 2006, while Antarctica lost about 152 cubic kms between 2002 and 2005. And the devastation continues.
8. Rising temperatures due to climate in Assam have given rise to extreme weather conditions including decrease in annual rainfall to increase in submerging and floods along the Brahmaputra. As a result, many people have lost their livelihood.
9. Global sea level rose about 8 inches in the last century. The rate in the last two decades, however, is nearly double that of the last century.
10. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predicts that the Arctic Ocean will be devoid of any ice during the summer season by the middle of the next century.