Climate climax.

Jitendra Bajracharya

Global measurements of a warming of the earth are more and more frightening. In recent weeks we have learnt that February 2017 was the second-warmest in NASA’s global temperature records that go back 137 years. The only warmer Februrary was last year. The hotspot has been the Arctic, which saw the hottest year on record with temperatures 40 above average in February. Arctic sea ice is seeing a record low winter maximum for three consecutive years.


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If all this sounds bad, hear this. The Himalaya is warming much faster than the rest of the planet’s surface. Even if countries meet or exceed their commitments for emissionEmissions of greenhouse gases, greenhouse gas precursors, and aerosols associated with human activities, including the burning of fossil fuels, deforestation, land-use changes, livestock, fertilisation, etc. (IPCC) cutbacks, the average global temperature will still rise by 1.4o by 2100, but in the Himalaya, Pamir and Tibetan Plateau, temperatures will go up by 1.8.o The effects will be apocalyptic, and we are already seeing signs of it in Nepal’s glaciers thinning, retreating and losing mass at an alarming rate. Some of these trends were reviewed at an international conference on Understanding Climate ChangeClimate change is a lasting change in weather patterns over long periods of time. It can be a natural phenomena and and has occurred on Earth even before people inhabited it. Quite different is a current situation that is also referred to as climate change, anthropogenic climate change, or ... and Climate Action this week in Kathmandu organised by the Nepal government with Kathmandu-based ICIMOD and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

The IPCC has been cautious ever since its alarmist prediction ten years ago that Himalayan glaciers would all melt off by 2035 was proven to be unfounded. Even so, the new figures look serious enough. We are now looking at Nepal’s glaciers shrinking by half by 2050, and losing up to 80% of their ice by the end of the century. More than 1,000 glacial lakes have formed in the Nepal Himalaya alone as the ice melts, some of them are in danger of bursting. The trend is worse as we go west to east along the Himalayan arc.

The mountains store an estimated 6,000 cubic km of waterClimate change is expected to exacerbate current stresses on water resources from population growth and economic and land-use change, including urbanisation. On a regional scale, mountain snow pack, glaciers and small ice caps play a crucial role in freshwater availability. Widespread mass ... in the form of ice, and when it melts it will directly affect 1 billion farmers living downstream in South Asia, China and South-east Asia who grow food for nearly half of humanity.

Countries in the region have argued that it is a problem created by the industrialised countries with their historic emissionsEmissions of greenhouse gases, greenhouse gas precursors, and aerosols associated with human activities, including the burning of fossil fuels, deforestation, land-use changes, livestock, fertilisation, etc. (IPCC) of carbon dioxideCarbon dioxide (CO2) is emitted in several ways. Naturally through the carbon cycle and through human activities like the burning of fossil fuels. These human activities have increased CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere since the beginning of the industrial revolution and these high ..., but India will soon become the largest emitter of greenhouse gasesGreenhouse gas emissions cause dangerous anthropogenic climate change. Emissions include CO2, fluoridated gases, methane which are emitted by human activity such as deforestation and burning fossil fuels, and water vapour. even though its per capita carbon output is small. It may seem like Nepal’s minimal carbon footprintGreenhouse gas accounting describes the way to inventory and audit greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. A corporate or organisational greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions assessment quantifies the total greenhouse gases produced directly and indirectly from a business or organisation’s activities. ... means we cannot do much to mitigate global warmingHuman activities are adding greenhouse gases, particularly carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide, to the atmosphere, which are enhancing the natural greenhouse effect. While the natural greenhouse effect is keeping average temperature on earth at about +15°C, this enhanced greenhouse ..., but we can act locally by reducing pollution, controlling forest fires and crop burning, upgrading traditional brick kilns, and improving public transport. Soot and dust particles cause Himalayan snowfields to melt much faster than they would with just global warmingClimate change is a lasting change in weather patterns over long periods of time. It can be a natural phenomena and and has occurred on Earth even before people inhabited it. Quite different is a current situation that is also referred to as climate change, anthropogenic climate change, or ....

Climate change is not a new problem, it is just making all our old problems worse. It is at the community level that Nepal needs to boost farmers’ capacity to copeThe ability of people, organizations, and systems, using available skills, resources, and opportunities, to address, manage, and overcome adverse conditions. (IPCC-SREX, 2014) with the change. Because pollution travels across national boundaries, controlling it also needs cross-border cooperation. Using cleaner, more-efficient energy has co-benefitsThe benefits of policies implemented for various reasons at the same time, acknowledging that most policies designed to address greenhouse gas mitigation have other, often at least equally important, rationales (e.g., related to objectives of development, sustainability, and equity). The term ... for public health and the economy. Green is also the colour of money.

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