Climate Change

The invisible carbon blanket due to climate change

The invisible blanket of carbon dioxide as a result of greenhouse gaz emissions is getting thicker leading to an increase in global temperatures across the planet. As billion tons of unseen carbon dioxide are piling up into the already tainted atmosphere it blocks the longer wave lengths of heat that normally bounce back from the earth. This invisible blanket is acting like as a giant greenhouse leading to an increase in the global temperature, which in turn is depleting our very limited water resources.

Spheres showing:(1) All water (largest sphere over western U.S., 860 miles (1,385 kilometers) in diameter)(2) Fresh liquid water in the ground, lakes, swamps, and rivers (mid-sized sphere over Kentucky, 169.5 miles (272.8 kilometers) in diameter), and (3) Fresh-water lakes and rivers (smallest sphere over Georgia, 34.9 miles i(56.2 kilometers) n diameter). Credit: Howard Perlman, USGS; globe illustration by Jack Cook, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (©); and Adam Nieman.

The current global temperature has already exceeded 1.09 degrees Celsius above the normal. According to the recent IPCC report, under the intermediate, high and very high greenhouse gas emissions scenarios considered the global warming of 1.5°C relative to 1850–1900 would be exceeded during this century.

Under the five illustrative scenarios, in the near term (2021–2040), the 1.5°C global warming level is very likely to be exceeded under the very high greenhouse gas emissions scenario (SSP5–8.5), likely to be exceeded under the intermediate and high greenhouse gas emissions scenarios (SSP2–4.5 and SSP3–7.0), more likely than not to be exceeded under the low greenhouse gas emissions scenario (SSP1–2.6) and more likely than not to be reached under the very low greenhouse gas emissions scenario (SSP1–1.9). Furthermore, for the very low greenhouse gas emissions scenario (SSP1–1.9), it is more likely than not that global surface temperature would decline back to below 1.5°C toward the end of the 21st century, with a temporary overshoot of no more than 0.1°C above 1.5°C global warming. Source : IPCC 2022

Such increase in temperatures is negatively impacting our vital resources that we depend on such as water resources.

Observed negative impacts of climate change on resources and our livelihoods — Source IPCC Report

Although water is a renewable resource, its supply is not inexhaustible. It is unlikely that sufficient new water resources will be found to meet the projected increase in demand exacerbated by climate change, as existing water resources are already under pressure, with the withdrawal of last resources.

Connections of water across human systems

Although not with the same amplitude but previous implementation of the 1987 Montreal Protocol is working due to a constant decline in the use of chemicals (Chlorofluorocarbons), known as CFCs. These chemicals were commonly used in aerosol cans and cooling systems, in the 1930’s onward. They were found later on to be at the origin of the ozone layer depletion, in 1974. The Montreal Protocol to reduce the use of these man-made chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) was adopted in Montreal on 16 September 1987. It was ratified by 197 countries to enter into force on 26 August 1989. It is now considered as a landmark environmental success.

“Science was helpful in showing the path, diplomats and countries and industry were incredibly able in charting a pathway out of these molecules, and now we’ve actually seen the planet starting to get better. It’s a wonderful thing.” Susan Solomon/Jennifer Chu — MIT News Office

This recovery of ozone atmospheric protective layer is setting up a positive precedent in addressing also the rise in Earth’s temperature due to greenhouse gas (GHGs) emissions. The Montreal Protocol’s success of tackling the depletion of the ozone layer can help to tackle climate change by reducing further climate-warming.

Ozone layer recovery as a follow up to the implementation of Montreal Protocol.

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