Climate change

CLIMATE change, we’re reassured, is not pre-ordained. Nor is it a normal process. We, humans, are “very likely” to be a cause for this adverse turn in nature’s mechanisms for the mankind, says the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in its five-yearly analysis, the final lines of which are still in the making.

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Published: Sun 4 Feb 2007, 8:16 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 12:52 AM

When parts of the panel’s 2007 report were released, humans’ likely role in climate change got not just an emphasis, but an additional emphasis inasmuch that the wording in the last report, five years ago, about the possibility of this role got changed this time: from “likely” to “very likely”.

In other words, we are more convinced today about our own wrong role in the matter of global climate changing in adverse ways. It is also clearer now that “fossil fuel burning and land use changes are affecting the climate of our planet”. So, we are faced with situations of temperature rise by 1.8 to 4 C by the turn of the present century; of sea level rise by 28 to 43 cms — as the report warns. It would mean, in practical terms, drought, harsher and extended periods of summer, disappearance of some of the inhabited landmasses including island states, increased occurrence of tropical storms, and worse.

The warnings are stark. “If you are an African child born in 2007, by the time you are 50 years old, you may be faced with disease and new levels of drought”.

The question is, what are we doing about it? What has happened to the Kyoto Protocol, and what of those who drag their feet out of self-interests at the expense of global interests and matters of sustainability and inter-dependence? And, what of the AGCC region?

The UAE in this respect, is doing an excellent job along with the other Gulf states in environmental protection. However, more can be done — and the pace increased.

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