Climate change

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 In the light of the U.S.A., Japan and Russia, and other nations of the world  refusal of taking actions to avert certain global calamity in regard to global warming, the Earth Community has decided to plead the people of these countries to reason and good sense. We are asking them to ratify the Kyoto Protocol. Greenhouse gases are accumulating in the Earth's atmosphere as a result of human activities, and temperatures are rising globally due to these activities.

It is not clear how far Canada is willing to go to reach the Kyoto target of reducing its greenhouse gas emissions to 6 per cent below the 1990 level during the period 2008-12. The Canadian Action Plan 2000 on Climate Change includes no calculations, and it is not shown how the Action Plan will work.

The European Union leaders have agreed to ratify the 1997 Kyoto Protocol by the end of this year. Let us hope that the action plan they will offer to the world will be real and honest. The Earth Community Organization has created the Climate Change Ministry and offer national governments to coordinate efforts in implementing the Earth Community Action Plan with regard to climate change. There are thousands of actions everyone in Earth Community could take right now. Several more of these actions were listed in the Proceedings of the World Congress on Managing and Measuring Sustainable Development - Global Community Action 1 held on August 1-22, 2000.

Positive actions:

A)     By increasing vegetation in urban areas will reduce the urban heat, and the impacts of other urban environmental problems, which will be exacerbated under climate change. Reducing the urban heat will also reduce the energy demand for space conditioning, and hence greenhouse gas emissions. Plants directly reduce the urban heat through evaporative cooling but further reduce energy consumption through shading. The most common strategy to increase urban vegetation is to plant trees at ground level. However, where space is not available for trees, vegetation can be grown on building roofs, but walls offer far more space, hence vertical gardening is a viable alternative. 

B)     Aboriginal Peoples as well as everyone else in the world have noticed that the climate has changed over the past years. They came forward (actions) and said that they too had observed climate changes over the past years and generations. In some countries the temperature has increased by one or two degrees and natural catastrophes are becoming more and more frequent. Flooding or freshwater scarcity as well as water pollution are harming the environment of the Third World and developing countries and water and air pollution characterizes the industrialized regions. Therefore, poor and rich regions are facing a common problem which is linked to climate change, that's why we should negotiate honestly and find a compromise as quickly as possible. If no solution is suggested, developing countries like China will repeat the same mistakes as the developed world. In fact, the latter can expect a higher salary, which will close the gap between rich and poor regions. 

World industrial activity is now profoundly affecting the atmospheric environment. It is now the population number and industrialization that makes the major impacts on the atmosphere. The most important changes affecting the atmosphere are due to the growth in the burning of fossil fuels. The burning of fossil fuels increases carbon dioxide concentrations and air pollutants. The clearing of forested lands for agriculture and other purposes has reduced the amount of carbon absorbed by the forests and contributed to the increase of atmospheric carbon dioxide. We have disturbed a fragile balance by causing chemical changes in the global atmosphere.

The most devastating effects of contamination of the atmosphere on a global scale include:

*    An increase in greenhouse gas concentrations brought the warming of the climate;
*    Depletion of the stratospheric ozone layer;
*    Acidification of lakes and forests;
*    Toxic chemicals have contaminated our food chain on the land and in the waters.
*    The most sophisticated climate models take into account factors such as: 
*    The changes in the radiation balance of the Earth;
*    Contamination of the atmosphere;
*    Greenhouse gas concentrations;
*    Absorption of heat by the oceans;
*    The ice and snow fields;
*    The hydrological cycle of precipitation; and
*    The melting of glaciers and the Greenland ice cap.

A consequence of a warmer climate is a rise in global mean sea-level. Several countries will be more susceptible to inundations. We will see hundreds of millions of environmental refugees searching for land.

The mid-latitude wheat belts of the planet will dry; forest fires will wipe out most of the forests; world food markets will have to adjust to help a starving population. 

Tourism and wildlife in the tropics will be seriously affected by a temperature that is just too hot.

Tropical diseases will cause epidemics.

Major changes in evaporation and precipitation patterns will not adjust quickly enough to supply the population with water it needs to survive; agriculture will become a dying industry either because of too much water or not enough of it.

Sub-Arctic communities will disappear because of the melting of the permafrost.

It is well known that biological communities of the waters and of the land absorb and bio-accumulate toxic contaminants through the food webs. Trace concentrations deposited by the atmosphere have become harmful. They are chemicals carried through the atmosphere to seas, rivers, lakes and other streams, and subsequently into sediments and soils. Metals and chemical contaminants can be absorbed for a long time, and are in fact chemical 'time bombs'. 

Urban air pollution is a mixture of several pollutants emitted from different energy and industrial processes, and of secondary pollutants in the atmosphere. Some air pollutants are more important than others. At a given concentration some pollutants are more toxic or more unpleasant. Pollutants have different effects related to health, ecosystems,  economics and aesthetic.

C)     Tropical tree plantations may be an important component of the global carbon cycle because they represent a carbon sink that can be manipulated by humans and they ca mitigate the effects of tropical deforestation, which is the main biotic source of atmospheric carbon. Most forest plantations in the tropics are planted with fast growing trees that culminate in volume and biomass production earlier than natural forests. These high biomass production forests have a high capacity to sequester atmospheric CO2 and hence assist in mitigating global warming. Sequestration of CO2 in plantations occurs in tree biomass (stems, branch, foliage and roots), forest floor and as storage in the soil. Young growing forests are one of the best means to removing CO2 (the gas partially responsible for the greenhouse effect) from the air. Thus planting forests help to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the air (by the action of sunlight on the green chlorophyll organic compound, CO2 is absorbed by trees through the small fissures in the leaves or needless, these gases are fixed as biomass).

D)     Ever-increasing anthropogenic releases of greenhouse gases are driving the United Nations Climate Change effort. As the atmosphere's concentrations of "greenhouse gases" increase, so too does the atmosphere's ability to retain heat radiated from the earth's surface. This phenomenon, known as the greenhouse effect, is linked by many scientists to a long-term rise in global temperatures.

The greenhouse gases, mainly carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide, are critical to the atmosphere's ability to retain heat and thereby maintain the global temperatures necessary to maintain life as we currently know it.

The increases in concentrations of these gases are produced primarily through the burning of fossil fuels, but also by such activities as deforestation and land clearing, which release the carbon naturally contained in vegetation. Over the past 100 years, humans have caused the release of these gases faster than natural processes can remove them from the atmosphere.

Some scientists predict that average global temperatures will increase 2 to 6 degrees Fahrenheit over the next 100 years if global emissions of greenhouse gases continue unabated. In addition to an increase in ambient temperatures, the other possible consequences of global warming include a speeding of the global water cycle. It is predicted that faster evaporation caused by higher temperatures would lead to drying of soils, exacerbating drought in some areas while increasing precipitation and flooding in others.

Warmer temperatures could melt polar ice caps, leading to what some predict as a rise in sea levels of between 6 to 37 inches over the next century. This, in turn, would endanger coastal populations and island nations and cause the degradation of coastal ecosystems. If these predictions prove true, human health will be affected directly as warmer temperatures increase the chances of heat waves, exacerbate air quality problems and lead to an increase in both allergic disorders and warm weather diseases. Agriculture, forests, natural ecosystems and vegetation patterns would also be adversely affected by both increases in temperatures and changes in the water cycle.

E)     The Kyoto Protocol is the latest step in the ongoing United Nations' effort to address global warming. The effort began with the United Nations' Framework Convention on Climate Change (Convention) signed during the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. (The Convention entered into force in 1994 upon the ratification by 50 nations) Despite the continuing scientific debate on the likely occurrence of global warming, the nations took action under the "precautionary principle" of international law.

The Convention is intended to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations at a level that will prevent dangerous interference with the global climate system. The time frame is to be "sufficient to allow ecosystems to adapt naturally to climate change, to ensure that food production is not threatened and to enable economic development to proceed in a sustainable manner."

To further that objective, the Convention sought to commit all parties to it to develop and implement programs to mitigate climate change by addressing emissions of greenhouse gases.

The Convention places the first level of commitment to reduce emissions on nations that have developed, prospered and established strong economies through the consumption of fossil fuels since the industrial revolution began. These developed countries are the 38 countries listed in Annex I to the Convention.

The Convention recognises the importance of preserving and enhancing the earth's natural ability to remove certain greenhouse gases from the atmosphere by FORESTS and other carbon stocks, referred to as "sinks". The removal by sinks is also a key component of the Protocol, which allows countries to meet their commitments by considering the effects of aforestation, reforestation and deforestation since 1990, a provision that is expected to promote cost-effective solutions to climate change and good forestry practices.

The Kyoto Protocol put forward three mechanisms for achieving the targets. These include mechanisms such as emissions trading, joint implementation and the so-called "Clean Development Mechanism" (or CDM), to allow flexibility in achieving the required reductions.

Assuming that development and maintenance of sinks will be accepted under CDM, knowledge on the calculation of the amount of Carbon dioxide that can be sequestered by a given project needs to be known. At times this will involve establishing the carbon offset potential of a given forest venture, before the project is in place. Use of mathematical models to predicted the carbon sequestration potential will be important. Our paper is discussing the results of study done in Tanzania.

The Earth Community makes the following recommendations to alleviate the effects of climate change in the world:

*    Introduction of appropriate sustainable agricultural system with balanced use of chemical fertilizers incorporated organic minerals and green manure's.
*    Phase wise replacement of chemical fertilizer by organic fertilizer. Similarly biodegradable insecticide should be replace by the non-biodegradable insecticides.
*    The entrepreneur should take proper mitigation measures of industrial pollution by set-up of industrial waste treatment plant.
*    Control of insect, pests through biological, natural process, alternatives of using harmful insecticides or fungicides is important to introduce.
*    Promotion of research activities in the field of industrial waste utilization and waste recovery process.
*    Reutilization of agricultural residues through bio-conservation to industrial products.
*    Need proper implementation of Environmental Policy, Environment Conservation Actís and Legislation.
*    Enhancement of the capacity of NGOs, Govt. agencies to successfully implement poverty alleviation program including non-formal education on environmental pollution awareness.
*    There are approaches to limit and regulate the pollution emissions of industrial activities. These are standards, taxes and pollution permits. The choice among these alternatives depends on the administrative structure of a nation.
*    In an urban community site, air usually contains materials such as nitric oxide, Sulfur oxide, carbon monoxide, Aldehydes, dust and many others. A city would have a department measuring indicators and indices in order to:

a) Provide a daily report to the public
b) Define air pollution in terms of the amount of pollution created by polluters
c) Define air quality in all parts of the city
d) Measure progress toward air quality goals
e) Propose abatement steps
f) Alarm the public in case of danger
g) Provide data to researchers
h) Provide information for compliance
i) Make intelligent decisions with regard to priorities of programs toward environmental improvement

*    Immediate and honest actions by the USA, Russia, Japan and Canada, and all countries in resolving the problems creating the greenhouse gases. The ratification of the Kyoto Protocol and the implementation of measurable positive actions to resolve the problems of global warming.
*    The support of the Climate Change Ministry of Earth Government in coordinating efforts.

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