COP27

What is COP27?

COP is the short form for Conference of the Parties, with” parties” about the 197 countries that consented to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in 1992.

This convention addresses” dangerous mortal hindrance with the climate system” and stabilizes situations of GHG emissions into the atmosphere. The U.N. climate body convenes those governments once a time to bandy addressing climate change. This is the 27th time different have gathered under the convention — hence, COP27.

The conference was from Nov. 6 through Nov. 18, 2022. But climate negotiations are famously contentious, so expect it to go into overtime.

 when was COP27

The meeting was held at Sharm el Sheikh. It is an Egyptian resort town on the Red Sea coast.

Two main sites for the COP27 event: are the Blue Zone and the Green Zone. 

The Blue Zone was at the Sharm el Sheikh International Convention Center, South of the town centre, mainly for the official negotiations. United Nations superintended the space, which is a concern to international law.

Across the road in the Peace Park Botanical Garden will be the Green Zone, and the Egyptian government will run that area and open it to the public.

The goal of COP27

The final goal of the conference was in dispute. Developed nations need to focus on ways to support developing nations in phasing out fossil fuels and transitioning to renewable energy.

Developing countries want a commitment to the money they need to address the disasters due to climate change they are already experiencing.

However, emerging countries need to find economic assistance for factors like relocating endangered areas or just making up for the economic growth lost to worsening floods, storms and heat waves. Industrialized nations, including the United States, have partly opposed a new fund. Because they fear being held legally liable for the rising damages happened by climate change.

It was the first climate summit in Africa since 2016. Many activists said they hope it will be an ‘African COP’ in both focus and location, as the African nations face some of the worst impacts of climate change.

Above 35,000 representatives are awaited to join the event, including U.S. President Biden and more than 100 heads of nation, according to the U.N. climate body. Over 40,000 people attended the 26th summit in Glasgow with 120 world leaders. But it’s still a substantial gathering for a year in which no significant decisions are officially expected.

Disapproval at COP26

 Climate activists have demonstrated their concern for the crisis through marches, hunger strikes, sit-ins, and other acts of civil disobedience at COP26.

Protests are planned in Sharm el Sheikh while world leaders highlight Egypt’s poor human rights record at COP27. As President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi’s government has criminalized free assembly and banned demonstrations, those demonstrations appear unlikely.

Sameh Shoukry, Egypt’s foreign minister, said that Egypt would permit some demonstrations at COP27. However only in a facility adjacent to the conference centre rather than in negotiating rooms or on the streets. Environmental activists said they remain fearful of climate change and global warming.

COPs in the past

Berlin was the site of the first COP in 1995. After a critical mass of nations approved the climate convention, which set the stage for two years later’s Kyoto Protocol.

In contrast, the Kyoto Protocol required wealthy, industrialized nations to cut emissions. However developing countries like China, India, and Brazil would reduce emissions voluntarily.

Climate change has been the subject of the last few decades of debate between the senate and the president over which nation is most responsible. In 2015, Obama’s authority broke the impasse by leading about 200 countries to sign the groundbreaking Paris climate agreement. For the first time, rich and developing countries agreed to act, albeit at various centres, to check out the solutions for climate change.

After the cancellation of the United States from the Paris accord, President Donald J. Trump rejoined the agreement under Vice President Joe Biden.

Although leaders made big contracts in Paris, nations need to take more actions to stave off the worst effects of climate change. At COP26, nations pledged to be more ambitious in Glasgow, and some have been. The United Nations reported recently that only about two dozen countries have followed through on their commitments.

Many world leaders, scientists, and activists agree that more ambition is needed even as nations begin to reduce their carbon footprints.

COP26 in Glasgow

COP26 produced the Glasgow Pact. It is an agreement among 200 nations. In a way to limit global temperature rise to under 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit), nations are asked to “revisit and strengthen” their emissions targets by the end of 2022.

It is noticed that developed nations have failed to meet a decade-old promise to help deliver $100 billion annually by 2020, urging them to “at least double” finance for adaptation by 2025.

On the sidelines of the formal negotiations, many of the agreements were struck by countries and corporations. More than 100 countries agreed to reduce methane emissions, a potent planet-warming gas, by 30 per cent this decade. Another 130 countries vowed to prevent deforestation by 2030 and commit a huge fund toward the effort. Dozens of other countries promised to eliminate their coal plants eventually and sales of gasoline-powered vehicles in the upcoming years.

 COP26: Level of Execution

The United States passed a law last year to contribute $370 billion to drive the country away from fossil fuels and depend more on GHG emissions-free energies like solar, wind, and nuclear power. It is expected to get to its goal of cutting emissions at least 50 percentage below 2005 levels by 2025.

Does the 1.5-degree target matter?

It’s the threshold beyond which scientists say the likelihood of disastrous climate impacts — like severe heat waves, water scarcity, drop in crop production and collapse of the ecosystem— is relatively going up. Our mother earth has warmed by about 1.1 degrees Celsius.

Compelling global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius requires all nations to cut emissions faster and more profoundly than they already are doing.

Loss and damage

Loss and damage related to climate change the countries are passing on now are relatively high nowadays. But cannot acclimatize to impoverish, developing nations that have contributed the least to global warming. It’s a changing sanctum for the above 30 million people in Pakistan displaced by floods. Or they’re shifting communities in Fiji from aquatic plages because of rising waterbodies.

The Economic support during such calamities was discussed at COP27.

What is at stake at COP27?

This conference test whether the international community can respond to the rising urgency of the crisis.

The environmental activist and policy analyst Alden Meyer, who has attended 25 of the 26 climate change conferences, says negotiations must shift from haggling over legal terms to helping countries meet their emission pledges by the end of the year to prevent more catastrophes and protect the most vulnerable.

Solutions to Climate Changes

After decades of ferocious exploration, scientists has recognized a great deal regarding the climate system and the effects people are having on it. Scientific substantiation relating to climate change spans variety of fields of study and includes work from the knockouts of thousands of scientists. Scientists have strictly assessed and singly corroborated the substantiation hundreds of times, as described in this memo.

Three broad conclusions affect comprehensive assessments of scientific substantiation:

  1. People are causing the climate to change, mainly due to hothouse gas emigrations.
  2. Mortal-induced climate change is dangerous, and the consequences are potentially dire.
  3. We’ve numerous options for reducing the impacts of climate change.

These conclusions come from multiple lines of substantiation.

Solutions form Various Sectors

Options to lower the consequences of climate change generally fall into four fields:

Mitigation

 — sweats to reduce hothouse gas emigrations.

Mitigation reduces our future emissions of GHG to the atmosphere. This will affect lower human disturbance of the climate system– the amount that climate will change because of our emissions– and increases the chances that climate change will be manageable. Approaches to reducing emissions fall into several orders. These include
1) regulation;
2) exploration, development, and deployment of new technologies;
3) preservation of energy or land;
4) sweats to increase public mindfulness;
5) positive impulses to encourage choices that lower emigration;
6) increasing the cost of utilizing the atmosphere to dispose of greenhouse gases.
This last approach is particularly noteworthy because it anticipates to beget a broad-reaching reduction in emigration. It has entered a great deal of attention from the exploration community and is a focus of policy conversations. It can also be anticipated to induce net benefits by correcting a request failure( that emitters presently can use the atmosphere without paying for the cost of climate damage that they spawn).

Adaption

 — adding society’s capacity to manage climate change.

Adaption involves the structure’s capacity to avoid, repel, and recover from climate change impacts. It includes regulating to reduce vulnerability, planning disaster recovery, assessing the effects of critical systems and resources etc. It also ensures compliance and monitoring, relocating vulnerable populations and resources. These are examples of ways to minimize compounding stresses. Mainly it concern about traditional air pollution, niche loss and decline, invasive species, species demolitions, and nitrogen deposits.

Geoengineering or Earth manipulation 

— new, deliberate intervention in the Earth system that tries to offset some of the impacts of hothouse gas emigrations.

Geoengineering or Earth manipulation, if feasible, might help lower greenhouse gas attention. Offset the global warming influence of Greenhouse gas emissions, address specific climate change impacts, or offer despair strategies in the event we need them. Geoengineering also creates pitfalls because attempts to alter the Earth’s system could lead to unintended and negative consequences. Two approaches admit the utmost attention reflecting the sun to space to neutralize hothouse gas warming and carbon remmoval( rooting carbon dioxide from the air and storing it deep in the ground or ocean). Carbon removal to match hu an emission isn’t presently possible. Reflecting sun would not address all consequences of hothouse gas emigration (e.g. ocean acidification).

Research

 sweats to further understand the climate system, our impact on it, the consequences, or the response options themselves.

Research works includes Exploration, compliances, scientific assessment, and technology development. It can increase understanding of the Earth system. Similarly it reveal pitfalls or openings associated with the climate system, and support decision-making concerning climate change. The new knowledge could reveal new spaces for reducing the consequences of climate change. And thus help with the early discovery of successes and failures. As a result, programs to expand the knowledge base can bolster and support our responses to climate change.

Climate change is at the forefront of the political sphere as we head into 2023 and with the new administration. There is, however, a complex aspect to climate change, and it has the potential to overwhelm us. The reality is that real solutions will require action on a global scale in order to be implemented. But you can still make small changes in your day-to-day life in order to make a positive impact on the environment.

Renewable powers

We have to change our sources of energy to clean and renewable energy. Solar, Wind, Geothermal and biomass are among those. The main challenge is barring the burning of coal, oil and, ultimately, natural gas. The citizens of richer nations eat, wear, work, play and indeed sleep on the products made from renewable energies. And population developing nations want and arguably earn the same comforts, largely thanks to the energy stored in similar energies.
Oil is the lubricant of global frugality and fundamental to consumers and goods transportation. Coal is the main source, supplying roughly half of the electricity used worldwide. There are no exact results for reducing dependence on fossil energies. As an illustration, carbon-neutral biofuels can drive up the price of food and lead to timber destruction. While nuclear power doesn’t emit hothouse feasts, it produces radioactive waste, so every bit counts.

Reforestation

Every time, 33 million acres of timbers are cut down. Timber harvesting in the tropics contributes1.5 billion metric tons of carbon to the atmosphere. It shows 20 per cent of man- made GHG emissions and a source that could be avoided fairly fluently.
Better agricultural practices along with paper recycling and timber operation should be take. Balancing the quantity of wood taken out with the number of new trees growing could be a solution to control the climate changes.

Electricity

Believe it or not, utmost people have to spend further amount on electricity to power bias when off than when on. Stereo outfit, computers, battery dishes and a host of other widgets and appliances consume further energy when switched off, so better unplug them.
Purchasing energy-effective widgets can also save energy and money — therefore precluding further Climate changes. To take but one illustration, effective battery dishes could save further than one billion kilowatt- hours of electricity —$ 100 million at current electricity prices and therefore help the release of further than one million metric tons of green house gases.

Population

Currently, there are at least 6.6 billion people living, a number prognosticated by the United Nations to rise by at least nine billion by the middle of the century. TheU.N. Environmental Program estimates it requires 54 acres to sustain an average population — food, apparel and other coffers uprooted from the earth. Continuing similar population growth seems unsustainable.

Biofuels

Biofuels can have numerous negative impacts, from adding food prices to stinking up more energy than they produce. Hydrogen must be created, taking either reforming natural gas or electricity to crack water into molecules. Biodiesel hybrid electric vehicles which can plug into the grid overnightmay offer a better transportation result in the short term. Given the energy viscosity of diesel and the carbon-neutral ramifications of energy from shops, as well as the emigrations of electric machines. A recent study set up that the present quantum of electricity could give enough energy for the entire line of motorcars to switch to plug- in hybrids, as a solution to climate changes.

Reduce Consumption

The easiest way to reduce green house gas emissions is to buy lower stuff. Whether by abstaining an machine or employing a applicable grocery sack, cutting back on consumption results in smaller fossil energies being burned to prize, produce and transport products around the globe.
suppose green when making purchases. For case, if you’re in the request for a new auto, buy one that will last the long and have the least impact on the planet. Therefore, a used vehicle with a mongrel machine offers superior energy effectiveness over the long haul while saving the environmental impact of new auto manufacturing.

Sustainable Transportation

Our transport styles must be aligned with environmental conditions and reduce their carbon footmark. We must reevaluate our transport styles from the design stage towardseco-friendly transportation. Transportation is the alternate leading source of GHG gas emissions in theU.S.( burning a single gallon of gasoline produces 20 pounds of CO2). But it does not have to be that way.
One way to dramatically dock transportation energy needs is to move closer to work, use mass conveyance, or switch to walking, cycling or some other mode of transport that doesn’t bear anything other than mortal energy. There’s also the option of working from home and telecommuting several days a week.
Cutting down on long- distance trip would also help, most specially airplane breakouts, one of the fastest growing sources of GHG gas emissions and a source that arguably releases similar emigrations in the worst possible spot( advanced in the atmosphere). Flight travels are also one of the many sources of global- warming pollution for which there is not a feasible volition. The jets calculate on kerosene because it packs the most energy per pound, allowing them to travel far and fast. Yet, it takes roughly 10 gallons of oil painting to make one gallon of spurt energy. Confining flying to only critical, long- distance passages to various parts of the world, trains can replace aeroplanes for short- to medium- distance passages — would help check airplane emissions.

Sea and Ocean preservation


In terms of storage capacity, oceans and seas are considered to be the largest reservoirs of greenhouse gases. They provide an exceptional support system for life on this planet. In order to protect our natural resources, we must limit overfishing, develop in a sustainable manner in coastal areas, and consume those products which are environmentally friendly.

Circular economy

Using the three r’s of circular economy, that is, to “Reduce, Reuse and Recycle”, is highly important to reduce our waste and avoid excessive production significantly. So Waste Management & Recycling should also be done properly in order to reduce the effect of climatic changes in the future. Adapting our production methods to our consumption patterns is the easiest way to reduce waste. Taking recycling into account in our consumption habits is also important

Future Fuels

Replacing Fossil energies may prove the great challenge of the 21st century. Numerous contenders live, ranging from ethanol deduced from crops to hydrogen electrolyzed out of the water, but all of them have some downsides, too, and none are incontinently available at the scale demanded.

But plug- in hybrids would still calculate on electricity, now generally generated by burning coal. Massive investment in low- emigration energy generation, whether solar- thermal power or nuclear fission, would be needed to radically reduce green house gas emissions. And indeed more academic energy sources hyphens humanity’s first planet wide trial. But, if all else fails, it could not be the last. So- called geoengineering, radical interventions to either block harmful sun rays or reduce green house gases, is a implicit last resort for addressing the challenge of climate change.

Climate Change: Causes and Effects

Climate change specifies to long-term shifts in temperatures and weather patterns. These changes may be natural, such as through divergence in the solar cycle. However since the 1800s, human activities are the main cause of climate change. Mainly due to burning fossil fuels like coal, oil and gas.

Burning fossil fuels generates greenhouse gas emissions like a blanket wrapped around the Earth’s atmosphere, trapping the Sun’s heat and raising temperatures.

Examples of greenhouse gas emissions causing climate change include carbon dioxide and methane. These come from using gasoline to drive a car or coal to heat etc. Deforestation can also release carbon dioxide, and landfills for garbage constitute a significant source of emission of green house gases

It is the highest level of greenhouse gas concentrations.

 And emissions is still rising. And therefore the Earth is now about 1.1°C warmer than ever before. 2011-2020 was the warmest decade on record.

Climate change not only means warmer temperatures. But also the temperature rise is only the starting of the many other problems. Since the Earth is a system where everything is interconnected, changes in one section will result changes to all other sections too.

Intensified droughts, water scarcity, severe fires, rising sea levels, flooding, melting polar ice, catastrophic storms, and declining biodiversity have all been linked to climate change.

The impacts of climate change are diverse for different people.

 Climate change can affect even our day-to-day life. Many of us are already vulnerable to climate impacts, mainly consisting of people living in small island nations and other similar developing areas. Problems like sea-level rise and saltwater intrusion are rising, so the communities nearby must relocate. Also, protracted droughts are putting people at risk of famine. Shortly, the number of “climate refugees” is expected to rise. 

 Climate Change: The Causes

Human activities are promoting the global warming trend observed since the mid-20th century.

  • The greenhouse effect is highly essential for sustaining life on Earth. But human-made pollution in is trapping heat.
  • The five essential greenhouse gases causing climate change are CO2, nitrous oxide, methane, chlorofluorocarbons, and water vapour.

 About 90% of this heat is absorbed by greenhouse gases and re-radiated; thus, it is slowing heat loss to space.

Power Generations

Generating power and heat by burning fossil fuels causes many global emissions of greenhouse gases. Electricity is mainly generated by burning coal, oil, or gas, which produces potent greenhouse gases. Globally, electricity also comes from wind, solar and other renewable sources, which emit little to no greenhouse gases or pollutants into the air as opposed to fossil fuels.

Manufacturing goods

Manufacturing and industry produce emissions, mainly from burning fossil fuels, to have energy for manufacturing things like cement, iron, clothes, steel, electronics, plastics and other goods. Mining and other industrial processes release gases, as does the construction industry. Machines used in manufacturing often run on coal, oil, or gas; some materials, like plastics, are made from chemicals sourced from fossil fuels. The manufacturing industry is a prominent donor of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide.

Deforestation

Cutting down trees to make farmlands, or for similar other reasons, causes emissions of CO2. When they are cut, they release the CO2 they have been storing inside. Every year about 12 million hectares of forest undergo destruction. Since forests absorb CO2 destroying them also limits nature’s ability to emit gases out of the atmosphere. Deforestation, agriculture, and other land use changes are also responsible for a limited amount of emission of greenhouse gases.

Transportation

Most vehicles like cars, trucks, ships and planes run on fossil fuels. That makes transportation a significant contributor to greenhouse gases, especially carbon-dioxide emissions. Road vehicles account for the most important part, due to the combustion of petroleum-based products, in internal combustion engines. But greenhouse gas emissions from ships and planes continue to grow. Transport contributes to nearly one-quarter of global energy-related CO2 emissions. And as per the report, there will be a significant increase in energy use for transportation in the upcoming decades.

Food production

Food production causes emissions of CO2, methane, and other greenhouse gases in various ways. It also includes deforestation and clearance of land for agriculture and grazing, the production and use of fertilizers and other chemicals for crop cultivation, and the energy consumption to run farm equipment or fishing boats with fossil fuels. All this makes food production a significant promoter of climate change. 

Electricity

Residential and commercial buildings worldwide consume over half of all electricity. Since they continue to depend on coal, oil, and natural gas for various purposes, they emit significant greenhouse gas emissions. Growing energy demand for heating and cooling, rising air-conditioner ownership, and increased electricity consumption for lighting, appliances, and connected devices, have contributed to a rise in emissions of greenhouse gases from buildings recently.

High rate of Consumption 

Your daily work, power usage, how and what you consume and how much you waste all contribute to greenhouse gas emissions. So indirectly, it relies on consuming goods such as clothing, electronics, plastics etc. A large amount of global greenhouse gas emissions is linked to private households.

 Our lifestyles have a subtle impact on our planet.

 A rise in global warming is a serious issue.

 According to UN reports, limiting global temperature rise to 1.5°C will avoid the worst climate changes and maintain a suitable climate. Even then, currently, reports are showing a 2.8°C rise in temperature within a few years. 

 Some countries produce greenhouse gases much more than others. The 100 least-emitting countries have about 3 per cent of total emissions, and the 10 countries with the most significant emissions are about 68 per cent. So even though everyone must take climate action, those creating more of the problem have a higher responsibility for immediate action.

Effects of Climate Changes

Global climate change is not a problem we must face in the future. Changes to Earth’s climate driven by rising emissions of heat-trapping greenhouse gases have boundless effects on the environment: melting of glaciers and ice sheets, plant and animal geographical locations are shifting, and plant and trees are blooming sooner. Some changes like droughts, wildfires, and extreme rainfall are happening faster than previously predicted. As the IPCC(Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change ) – the United Nations body responsible for assessing climate change – points out, modern humans have never seen such changes in our global climate. Some of these changes will be irreversible in the coming years.

  • The melting of glaciers and ice sheets, rising sea level, and more intense heat waves are some of the effects of climate change.
  • Some reports show that global temperature rises from human-made pollutants will continue. As a result, severe weather damage will also increase and intensify in the upcoming years.

Hotter temperatures

As greenhouse gas concentrations increase, the global surface temperature is also rising. The period 2011-2020 is the warmest ever on record. Since the 1980s, each decade has been more generous than the previous one. Moreover, land areas are becoming warmer. Rising temperatures increase heat-related illnesses and make working outdoors more difficult. Wildfires start more quickly and spread more rapidly when conditions are more alluring…

Severe storms

Destructive and heavy storms are becoming more frequent in many parts of the world. When temperatures rise, more moisture evaporates, resulting in extreme rainfall and flooding, causing more violent storms. The warming ocean also affects the frequency and extent of tropical storms. Cyclones, hurricanes, and typhoons feed on warm waters at the ocean surface. These storms often destroy homes and communities, causing deaths and substantial economic losses.

Increased drought

Climate change is affecting water availability, making it scarcer in more regions. Global warming results in water shortages in already water-stressed areas. It also leads to a high risk of agricultural droughts affecting crops, thereby increasing ecosystem vulnerability. It can also cause destructive sand and dust storms that shift tons of sand across the vast land area. This results in expansions, thereby reducing land for growing food. Many people now need more water regularly.

Warming and rising ocean temperature

The sea’s temperature variation rate has enormously increased over the last few years overall oceanic depth. As the ocean warms, its volume increases as the water expand while heating. The melting of glaciers also causes sea levels to rise, threatening coastal areas. In addition, the ocean absorbs CO2, keeping it from the atmosphere. But more carbon dioxide makes the ocean acidic, which endangers marine life and coral reefs.

Loss of species

Climate change risks species’ survival on land and in the ocean, and these risks rise as temperatures increases. As a result of climate change, the world is losing species at 1,000 times greater than at any other time in recorded human history. One million species risk becoming extinct within the next few decades. Forest fires, extreme weather, invasive pests and diseases are many threats to climate change. Some species can relocate and survive, while others can’t.

Scarcity of food

Climate changes and increases in extreme weather also lead to global hunger and malnutrition. Fisheries, crops, and livestock are highly affected or become less productive. Even the marine resources that feed billions of people are at risk, with the ocean becoming more acidic. Ice-melting Arctic regions have affected food from herding, hunting, and fishing. Heat can affect water and grasslands. Therefore causing a decline in crop yields and thus affecting livestock.

More health risks

Climate change is the single biggest threat facing human life too. People in places where they cannot grow food or find enough food are already experiencing health impacts due to air pollution, disease, extreme weather events, forced displacement, and food insecurity. Every year, environmental factors take the lives of around 13 million people, and health systems have difficulty keeping up with extreme weather events due to changing weather patterns. Diseases are spreading and deaths are rising as a result of changing weather patterns.

Poverty and displacement

Climate change also affects the factors that put and keep people in poverty. Urban slums may be swept away by floods, destroying homes and livelihoods. Heat can make it challenging to work in outdoor jobs, and water scarcity may affect crops. During the period(2010–2019), weather-related events displaced an estimated 23.1 million people each year, leaving them much more vulnerable to poverty. Most refugees come from the most vulnerable countries and are least ready to adapt to the impacts of climate change.

Climate change: Are scientists on the same page?

New technologies have helped scientists to collect information about our planet and its climate worldwide. These data, collected over many years, reveal the signs and patterns of a changing environment.

Scientists illustrated the heat-trapping nature of CO2 and other gases in the middle of the 19th century. Many science instruments in NASA study climate change and how these gases affect the movement of heat radiation through our atmosphere. 

How are climatic changes being resolved?

In executing its mission sustainability objectives are to:

  • High energy efficiency;
  • High the use of renewable energy;
  • Measure, report, and reduce the emission of greeenhouse gases;
  • Conserve and protect water bodiesthrough efficient reuse, and management of storm water;
  • Eliminate waste, prevention of pollution, and increase recycling of products;
  • Design, construction, maintainance of high-performance, sustainable buildings;
  • High utilization of power management options and reduce the number of agency data centres;
  • Assessment of agency climate change risks and vulnerabilities and development of mitigation and adaptation measures to manage both short- and long-term effects on mission and operations;
  • Maintain compliance with all laws and regulations related to energy efficiency and security, a healthy environment, and environmentally-sound operations; and
  • Comply with internal NASA requirements and agreements with other entities.

 

 

International Ozone Day

What is an Ozone Layer?

The ozone layer works as a protective screen, absorbing UV rays from the sun, commonly represented as O3 and comprises three oxygen atoms. This layer is located between 15 to 30 kilometres above the Earth’s surface in the stratosphere. It produces natural UV light from the sun, reacting with molecular oxygen (O2). However, in a nutshell, we could say that ozone serves as a layer that shields harmful rays and pollutants.

Causes and effects of Ozone layer depletion

Several regularly used compounds have been discovered to be particularly harmful to the ozone layer. Halocarbons are compounds with one or more carbon atoms bonded to halogen atoms (fluorine, chlorine, bromine or iodine). Bromine-containing halocarbons typically have a substantially higher ozone-depleting potential (ODP) than chlorine-containing halocarbons. The artificial substances that have provided the majority of the chlorine and bromine for ozone depletion are methyl bromide, methyl chloroform, carbon tetrachloride, and the halons, chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), and hydrochlorofluorocarbons families of chemicals (HCFCs).

Depletion of stratospheric ozone occurs over both hemispheres of the Earth. However, this phenomenon is less severe in the northern hemisphere (Arctic) than in the southern hemisphere (Antarctica). This is because meteorological variability is more significant over the Arctic than in the Antarctic year-to-year. Furthermore, temperatures in the stratosphere do not remain low for a long time in the Arctic, as in the case in the Antarctic.

The concentration levels of 220 Dobson Units (DU) or less (in blue in the figure) show severe ozone depletion and develop “ozone hole”. Basically, It is an area or a region of significant ozone layer thinning in high latitudes, primarily in winter, caused by the chemical action of CFCs and other atmospheric contaminants. This is only apparent in the southern hemisphere. Here, the most significant historical extent of the ozone hole – 28.4 million km2– occurred in September 2000. This area is equivalent to almost seven times the territory of the European Union (EU).

Maximum ozone hole extent over the southern hemisphere (1979-2021)

Preservation of the Ozone Layer

Hazardous chemicals emitted through aerosol sprays, refrigerants, solvents, propellants, foam-blowing agents, and other sources cause ozone layer depletion. UV radiations break down chlorofluorocarbon molecules in the stratosphere, releasing chlorine atoms. The influence of radiative forcing on the climate increases as greenhouse gas concentrations rise. The breakdown of stratospheric ozone by substances such as chlorine radicals increases UV radiation at the terrestrial level. These distinct occurrences are part of a more prominent family of global environmental changes. Scientists claim that in the early 1970s, stratospheric ozone levels in the polar regions began to decline. But the ozone’s condition has improved, according to a 2018 “Ozone Depletion Factor” measurement. Also, some of the climate change is now slowed down by continuous efforts.

World Ozone Day

Ozone Day aims to achieve the objectives of the Montreal Protocol and its amendments and promote public awareness about the importance of protecting the Ozone Layer from depletion. The ozone layer protects us from the sun’s ultraviolet radiation (UV rays). The Montreal Protocol forbids the use of substances that weaken the ozone layer with the long-term goal of eliminating them in light of new scientific and technological knowledge. Its structure is based on many categories of ozone-depleting chemicals. Nearly 100 substances across various types must be under control according to the Protocol. The Treaty lays out a timeline for phasing out the production and consumption of each class or annexe of chemicals to eliminate them.

Montreal Protocol (2022)

When the Montreal Protocol was signed in 1987, all 197 members of the United Nations voted in favour of it. The Canadian city of Montreal typically plans several special events, lectures, and seminars on September 16 every year. The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) established International Day for preserving the Ozone Layer in 1994. The day’s primary goal is to raise awareness about the Ozone Layer’s depletion and to look for ways to protect it. On September 16th, people from all over the world will gather in Montreal to attend the speeches and seminars. Educators frequently set aside this day to teach their pupils about the Ozone layer, and many schools organise special events and activities to increase awareness.

The Montreal Protocol@35: The theme of the 2022 International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer, which will be held on September 16th, is global cooperation to protect life on Earth. The theme recognises the Montreal Protocol’s broader impact on global warming and the need to act in harmony, form partnerships, and develop international collaboration to solve climate challenges and protect life on Earth for future generations.

Why is Ozone Day Important?

The ozone layer preserves life on Earth by absorbing harmful UV radiation, which is essential for life to exist on this planet. The ozone layer protects us from the sun’s ultraviolet radiation (UV rays). UV radiation from the sun causes cataracts, blindness, a weakened immune system, skin ageing, and other health issues. Direct UV radiation exposure in animals and humans promotes skin and eye cancer. UV-B rays also cause crop damage. UV-B exposure has a significant influence on plankton and zooplankton and a decrease in plant productivity which has an impact on soil erosion and the carbon cycle. Reduced plant growth, smaller leaf size, decreased blooming and photosynthesis, and lower crop quality.

How can we prevent ozone layer depletion

Here are some steps which each of us can put forward to protect the ozone layer from depletion :-

  • Consume ozone-depleting gases as little as possible.
  • Avoid burning plastics and rubber materials, which emit toxic fumes into the environment.
  • Reduce the use of smoke-emitting automobiles.
  • Try to replace hazardous cleaning products, cosmetics, hair spray, air fresheners, and other household products with non-toxic alternatives.
  • Encourage gardening and plantation to lower the risk of harmful pollutants in the atmosphere.
  • Maintain air conditioners as their malfunctioning generates CFC production.
  • Raise awareness on World Ozone Day about the significance of keeping our environment safe and healthy to protect the ozone layer.

Global warming

Why the world is now warming faster

Global warming occurs when carbon dioxide (CO2) and other air pollutants gather in the atmosphere trapping sunlight and solar radiation that has bounced off the earth’s surface. Usually, this radiation would escape into space; however, these pollutants linger in the atmosphere for centuries—trapping heat that causes the planet to heat up. Pollutants called greenhouse gases are responsible for trapping the heat from the atmosphere. Thus, the impact that contributes to these gases is the ” Greenhouse Effect”. Carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and synthetic fluorinated gases are primary pollutants in the process.

Global annual temperatures have risen by more than 1 degree Celsius (approximately 2 degrees Fahrenheit). It rose by 0.07 degrees Celsius (0.13 degrees Fahrenheit) every 10 ten years between 1880 (the year that accurate record-keeping began) and 1980. However, the rate of increase has more than doubled since 1981. Over the last 40 years, the global annual temperature has risen by 0.18 degrees Celsius (0.32 degrees Fahrenheit) per decade. India is the third-largest emitter of carbon dioxide after China and the US, and this is because of its rapidly growing population and an economy heavily dependent on coal and other fossil fuels. The nation’s Prime Minister committed that it will reduce the emission intensity of its economy to 45% from 33-35% from the previous years by 2030.

Temperature records by countries (or continent) (2015-2020)

The International governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) states that global economies keeping their target of achieving global net-zero emissions will help the world minimise overall temperature rise to 1.5OC. There are more than 140 countries have given their consent and promised to achieve and work towards achieving this ambitious target in the coming decades.

As a tropical developing economy, India faces more significant challenges in coping with adverse climate changes in recent years than other countries. The Central Government launched the National Clean Air Programme as a long-term, time-bound and nationwide strategy to tackle the air pollution problem with a target of 20-30% reduction.      

“Statista – How India is heating up (1911-2020)”

The country is planning to achieve net-zero emissions by 2070   

As part of this, India’s journey to Net Zero emissions and new climate change targets appear to be ambitious. And towards achieving this, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a five-fold strategy named ‘Panchamitra’ at the 26th Conference of Parties (CoP26), which states that;

  • The country’s non-fossil energy will be increased to 500 gigawatts by 2030: Central Electricity Authority (CEA) has projected the country’s energy mix for 2030. And as per this projection, the country’s installed capacity of non-fossil energy for electricity generation in 2019 was 134GW. 522GW will increase by 2030, which requires a solar and wind energy capacity of 280 GW and 140 GW, respectively, with a total installed capacity of 817 GW with a power generation of 2518 billion units by 2030.
  • 50% of the country’s energy requirement will be met from renewable energy by 2030: As per the estimates with CEA, 9.2% of the county’s electricity requirement are being met from renewables by 2019. In 2021, this has increased to 12%, with an increase in renewable energy capacity by 102 GW, which means that India needs to increase this exponentially to meet 50% electricity generation by 2030. The country’s power requirement is expected to touch 2518 billion by 2030. And to meet this requirement, the installed capacity should be increased to 700GW from the present 450 GW. And considering hydroelectricity as part of this will require raising the new renewable power to 630GW, which is obviously achievable.
  • The total projected carbon emission by the country will be reduced to one billion tonnes by 2030: The current CO2 emission by the government is estimated at 2.88 GT. And as per the projections by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), the country’s CO2 emission on account of business activities will be 4.48 Gt by 2030. But the government is planning to cut its carbon emission by 10 billion tons, making its emissions in 2030 at 3.48 GT. This shows the country’s ambitious target to cut its emissions by 22% in the coming years.
  • The country will reduce the carbon intensity of its economy by less than 45% by 2030, helping the country to achieve;
  • The target of Net-Zero by 2070: As per the estimates of CSE, between 2005-2016, the country has achieved a 25% reduction in its emission intensity and is on its way to earning more than 40% by 2030. India will improve measures to reduce emissions from various sectors like transportation and other energy-intensive industries like cement, iron, steel, non-metallic and chemicals. All these efforts by the country will help it become a Net Zero by 2070.

COP26: India’s efforts to combat climate change

In November 2021, the COP26 global summit, held in Glasgow, had a significant role in bringing climate change under control. Around 200 countries have been asked to plan efficient ways to cut emissions.

As per the UN Environment Program’s Emission Gap Report estimates, India is only the major economy on track to achieving its target set out in the Paris Climate Agreement. The country plans to reduce its GDP’s emission intensity, i.e. a significant reduction in the volume of carbon emissions emitted for every unit of its GDP by nearly around 35% by 2030. Further, as per the reports by the Environment Ministry, India has achieved its ambitious target of reducing the emission intensity of its GDP by over 21% in 2020. The country is almost nearing its goal of reaching about 40% share of non-fossil fuel-based electricity generation capacity.

Further, the Ministry of Environment, Forests, and Climate Change state that the country is favourable toward the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report. The government has taken several initiatives over the past few years, including setting up the International Solar Alliances and Coalition for Disaster.

Significant impacts of global warming

Climate change can bring multiple changes in different regions, expected to worsen with further warming. These changes include; Change in wetness and dryness, Changes to winds, snow and ice, coastal areas and oceans. For instance,

  • The water cycle is intensified because of severe climate change, resulting in intense rainfall, flooding, and more intense drought in many regions.
  • Climate change will affect rainfall and alter monsoon precipitation in different regions.
  • The continued sea-level rise will result in frequent and severe coastal flooding, especially in low-lying areas.
  • Global warming will also lead to the loss of seasonal snow cover, and melting of glaciers and ice sheets.
  • Changes to the oceans on account of warmings, such as frequent marine heatwaves, ocean acidification and reduced oxygen levels, will affect the ocean ecosystems and the people who rely on them.
  • For cities, warming will increase heat, flooding because of heavy and frequent precipitations, and sea-level rise in coastal areas.

The rise in carbon dioxide emission from fossil fuel combustion (1750-2020)

Climate Change (2020-2029 in comparison with 2090-2099)

Global warming and the greenhouse effect

At present human-caused greenhouse gas emissions are much higher than ever. And if the warming trends continue at the current rate, it will take the estimated global heating up to 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit. As a result of which, the earth’s climate system, in many ways, like;

  • More frequent and intense weather events include heat waves, hurricanes, droughts and floods.
  • Rising sea level because of melting glaciers and sea ice and increased ocean temperature.
  • Changes the ecosystems and natural habitat.

And these changes not only create a risk to the plants and wildlife and have a direct impact on the overall population.

Analysis by Nasa Earth Observatory – Global Temperature Anomaly (1880-2020)

What can be done to tackle the greenhouse effect

According to IPCC, countries should focus on decreasing their greenhouse gas pollution by 45% by 2030 to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. Reducing greenhouse gas will require significant efforts at the international, national and country levels. And as a foremost step towards this,

  • Countries should reduce fossil fuel production, consumption, and pollution using cleaner and renewable energy sources.
  • Significant efforts must be made to protect forests, reduce deforestation to all possible extent, and reduce food waste and emissions.
  • Every individual must be committed to taking carbon-cutting actions in their daily life.

Some possible solutions to combat global warming

  • Save energy at home: Where possible, use compact fluorescent lights (CFL) bulbs than regular light bulbs. CFLs use two-thirds less energy and last longer than standard bulbs.
  • Use less heat and air conditioning: Installing weather strippings or caulking around windows and doors will lower the energy to heat and cool the homes by 25%. Keeping the thermostat just 2 degrees lower in winters and higer in summers will help save about 2000 pounds of carbon dioxide every year.
  • Plant a tree: Planting suitable trees around residential areas and parkways helps to reduce energy usage during hot summers.
  • Buy fuel-efficient cars or hybrid vehicles: Buying a fuel-efficient car will save money and pollute less than engine run vehicles. Further, buying a hybrid vehicle will significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Switch to Biofuel: Adopt new methods to use biofuel, alternative to the current petroleum derivatives. This for a long term creates the major impact and save our planet from future disasters.
  • Walk, bike or take public transport: Rather than using private vehicles to cover shorter distances, using public transportation will significantly reduce the amount o air pollution. Committing to using public transit will lower the emissions to a great extent.
  • Inflate your tires: Keeping your vehicle’s tires adequate inflated will save 250 lbs of CO2.
  • Reduce, reuse and recycle: All possible attempts should be made to reduce waste by choosing reusable products instead of disposables. Further buying products with little packaging will help to minimise waste. Also, recycling half of the household waste saves considerable carbon emissions annually.