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The purpose of World Climate Day is to highlight the dangerous effects of pollution caused by humans on the climate and raise public awareness about these impacts.
Climate has a significant impact on the quality of life on Earth. However, our constantly evolving consumption-focused habits are already exploiting our climate and our world. This is why every year on May 15th, we celebrate Climate Day to shed light on the extent of the negative effects we have on the climate and discuss what we can do to reverse this situation positively.
As a result of climate change, climate-related disasters such as floods, tornadoes, and wildfires are becoming more frequent and intense in many parts of the world. Most of us are more exposed than ever to multiple related hazards due to population growth, urbanization, and environmental degradation. The most significant problem of our time is Climate Change. You can easily hear this even in a casual conversation. Unusual weather events have recently attracted the attention of people worldwide.
Melting of Asian Glaciers Threatens 800 Million Lives
Due to climate change, the Earth is warming, and glaciers are melting. Research indicates that the world’s glaciers are disappearing faster than scientists had previously predicted. Researchers warn that the shrinking of massive glaciers in Asia due to climate change could cause millions of people to face water scarcity.
Himalayas, often referred to as the “Third Pole” of the world, contain about 600 billion tons of ice mass. This makes them the world’s third-largest accumulation of ice and snow. The rapid melting of glaciers could exacerbate existing acute water management issues in the region, spanning from China, India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh to Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. There’s even an example from India last year.
The rapid melting of glaciers led to natural disasters like floods and landslides in India last year. This iceberg is just the visible tip. Glaciers provide a source of irrigation for many fields in Asia and a source of clean water for millions of people when they melt according to normal seasonal patterns.
However, rapidly melting and not being replaced glacier sheets threaten the future.
Researchers have found that Himalayan glaciers have lost about 40% of their area over the past few hundred years, which is approximately 390 to 586 cubic kilometers of ice. It’s mentioned that around 800 million people live in the region known as the Third Pole. It’s known that most of the people in the region rely on agriculture and livestock farming for their livelihoods. The mismanagement of rapidly melting glaciers will bring many problems along.
While the visible part of the iceberg currently leads to environmental and seasonal disasters, in the long run, water scarcity will bring along national and international security issues in more insidious ways. Diminishing resources causing reduced agricultural and fishing production in areas experiencing problems will increase the risk of violent conflict based on shrinking life necessities and economic expectations—often within countries, across borders, and even among communities.
While these scenarios might seem distant, environmental problems have always brought along social impacts. Humanity is equipped to fight for survival. Therefore, if we find ourselves in environments where we can’t fulfill the physiological needs at the foundation of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, social issues await us.
This dystopian prediction serves as a reminder on May 15th, World Climate Day, to raise awareness before these problems occur and to take personal and institutional steps.