Extreme weather events and climate change
In the last few weeks we have been experiencing extreme weather incidents all around the world once again. Obviously, extreme weather events have always been there, but now they are more and more frequent, visible and destructive. Nature starts to show us vigorously that we have reached the turning point.
Dozens of wildfires are raging throughout the western USA, Canada and Siberia. So far the largest fire has ignited in southern Oregon, and is so intense that it disrupts the Earth's atmosphere and affects the weather. Extreme heat waves with absolutely unseen temperature records caused deaths and health problems to hundreds of people and animals in Canada. Enormous floods in China and in Western Europe are again causing deaths with many billion damages on infrastructure. A tornado appeared in Eastern Europe. In some places in Iraq, the locals have not seen rain for 4 years and are facing extreme drought. Up to 70% of the country's arable land is at risk. An undoubtedly long-term issue and ecological catastrophe is also the burning of the Amazon Rainforest. We obtained new studies from scientists confirming that now the Rainforest is emitting more CO2 than it absorbs. Also rising sea levels, due to the melting arctic ice, is a huge problem and this list goes on and on.
One term is used more than the others related to these catastrophes. In the media, in the politicians’ speeches and in the public space, the phrase CLIMATE CHANGE occurs, perhaps with better understanding what it really means. Climate change has been a key factor in increasing the risk of destructive extreme weather events and scientists and climate experts claim that climate change is increasing the frequency of extreme weather events. Scientists have been pointing out rising temperatures and the consequences for decades now. Models of how the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will increase and how temperatures will develop have been calculated since about 2000, and the change that is taking place was expected.
Burning fossil fuels — whether in the form of trees, peat, coal, oil — increases the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Too much CO2 leads to higher atmospheric temperatures. Warm air holds more moisture than cooler air, ergo there is more water vapor in the atmosphere - which means that when it rains, it rains harder and longer than we are used to. That's why people face fires and floods at the same time. Just a little sparkle can create an enormous fire when it's spreading in arid forests filled with dry branches, and obviously, strong wind is also fueling the fire. Greater precipitation and bad soil and landscape management is a cause of large-scale floods.
Watch videos about climate change and CO2 myth :
Pressure for faster action and amplification of the fight with climate change associated with global warming has been now top priorities for many politicians and millions of citizens around the world. On a regular basis we speak more and more about programs that have a goal to reduce emissions of CO2. The Paris Agreement was adopted at the Paris climate conference in December 2015 and sets out a global framework to avoid dangerous climate change by limiting global warming to well below 2°C and pursuing efforts to limit it to 1.5°C. Finally, the USA is also on the board. Right on Day One, President Biden fulfilled his promise to rejoin the Paris Agreement. The EU’s initial nationally determined contribution under the Paris Agreement was the commitment to steeply cut down CO2 emissions and other greenhouse gases by at least 40% by 2030 compared to 1990. It will be achieved mainly by moving to zero emission vehicles, by terminating all direct or indirect subsidies for fossil fuels, by creating and maintaining natural carbon sinks (soil, forests) and managing renewable energy.
International agreements and platforms are surely crucial to slow down global warming, but a big part of the work is done on a local level by cities and villages, NGOs and individuals. We can start really on our personal level - to diminish our carbon footprint - by using public transport, cycling when it's possible or by turning off lights and unplugging devices when we are not using them. You can find other easy tips every day in the viaGood app.
We believe that a sense of community on every level increases a chance to accomplish goals. Read, educate yourself and others, get involved with NGOs determined to battle climate change, or support them. You can start now -- here’s how. Take a look at the ways of support in the viaGood app and Fight Climate Change with us. Together we can make it. 💪