Photo by Honorine Nail Juré

Climate emergency

EARTH WARMING UP

The sun constantly sends energy on Earth. A part of this energy which is totally reflected by clouds, atmosphere or earth surface is absorbed by this one.

The earth surface is warming up; on the other hand, the atmosphere emits infrared radiations, as more intense as the areas are hot. Some of these radiations are absorbed by clouds and some gases; it is the greenhouse phenomenon…

Greenhouse gas rise due to human activities traps a part of those radiations, which provokes an increase in areas temperature. 

In other words, those gases which are in the atmosphere prevent heat expansion towards space. When Human Activities are producing more activities, the Earth is significantly warming up, which specifically accelerates ice melting and others climate change phenomenon (flooding, cyclones, etc….).

Among those activities generating too fast, we can notice the intensive car use, industrial productions or air-conditioning use. 

We talk about anthropogenic greenhouse effect (due to Human) opposing natural greenhouse effect which is necessary to the planet environmental balance. 

What makes the situation more worrying is the fact that we entered a vicious circle. Global warming provokes ice melting. During this phenomenon, ice makes methane, a greenhouse gas, which reinforces again global warming.

GLOBAL WARMING EFFECT

The IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) has evaluated worldwide climate evolutions since 1988.
The last report of this organization was in 2014 and highlights an alarming situation.

  • The rate of sea level rise has accelerated during the last decades. 
  • In 2015, the average temperature of the planet has increased by 0.74 degrees Celsius compared to the 20th century average. 
  • In France, the number of summer days (with a superior temperature of 25°C) significantly increased on the period of 1950-2010.
  • The extreme climate phenomenon (storms, flooding and drought) keeps multiplying. 
  • 20 to 30% of animal and vegetal species are threatened with extinction.
  • We observe crises related to food resources. Droughts, for instance, can have a direct impact on agricultural products, thus bringing about major food crises, sources of conflict and migrations.
  • CO2 concentration increase in the atmosphere leads a strong CO2 concentration in the ocean and therefore, acidifying waters.  This acidification represents a major risk for coral reefs and some types of plankton.
  • The sea level could increase by 26 to 98 cm by 2100 and brings about costal area flooding and island countries disappearance (Maldives, Tuvalu).  Thus, we would assist massive population’ displacements.

NATURAL DISASTERS

The word has been witnessing the multiplication of extreme climate phenomenon for many years. The natural disasters rising could be closely related to global warming.

For more than 40 years, global warming could be responsible for many cyclones, droughts, heavy rains, flooding and storms worldwide according to the climatologists’ organization IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change).

According to the UN, 9 out of 10 catastrophes could be due to climate. 

Since the beginning of the 90’s, the annual average would have been 615 natural disasters and 66 000 deaths. The year 2010 has been impacted by almost 950 natural disasters and 295 000 deaths directly related to those events.

The number of cyclones (between 70 and 90 per year) has been stable for many years; however, their intensity has significantly continued to increase. Indeed, an IPCC study reveals that there are more cyclones of level 4 or 5. 

Summer 2017 has been impacted by Harvey, Irma, José and Maria, four major cyclones which were very close in time and in the same region. According to the recent history of meteorology, meaning hundreds years ago, the West Indies area has never been touched by a hurricane of level 5 before being struck in quick succession. In 100 years, North Atlantic has known 33 hurricanes of this category among which 11 happened in the 21st century.

DAILY ACTIONS

Taking action in favor of environment 

  • For short distances, you should use non- motorized mode of transport such as bike, walking, roller skates or public transportation such as bus, tramway and trains.
  • For national journeys, you should use the train rather than the plane. 
  • For hot seasons, it is recommended to moderately use the car air conditioning.
  • Buy local and seasonal fruits and vegetables rather than food grown under greenhouse.
  • For you house, choose walls, ceilings and windows supporting a good insulation, which will avoid to overheat your house.
  • Choose heating modes respectful of the environment such as geothermal, wood and solar heating. 
  • When buying domestic appliances, choose facilities consuming low energy such as energy class A devices for instance.
  • Do not forget to switch off your home electronic facilities every day (TV, HIFI, etc…)
  • Do not forget to sort your garbage which will allow limiting the landfilled waste quantity. 
  • Do not forget to close your tap when not using it. 
  • Take showers rather than baths.