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[July theme report] Climate change

by Dzelamunyuy Simuben | 01-09-2023 01:18 recommendations 0

Climate change
Climate change refers to long-term shifts in temperatures and weather patterns. These changes can happen naturally due to changes in the sun’s activity or large volcanic eruptions. The warming of our planet is varying. Our weather systems are being affected – patterns of rain and wind are changing coupled with extreme weather events that are increasing in frequency and intensity.  The earth’s average temperature is 15°C due to the available natural occurring greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide) that help to keep our atmosphere warmer. Without these gases, temperatures would have been below the freezing point of water. About 90% of this heat is absorbed by green house gases are radiated upward in the form of infrared heat to the earth surface. 
Mans and his activities have rapidly increased the emission of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. Man has been upgrading his activities since the 1750s in the burning fossil fuels, including coal and oil, which has increased greenhouse gas. Consequently there are difficulties for heat to escape the earth’s surface. The release of excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is being absorbed by our oceans, making them more acidic. The burning fossil fuels generate greenhouse gas emissions that act like a blanket trapping the sun’s heat in earth and raising temperatures. Agricultural practices which involve land reclamation, by clearing land and cutting down forests release carbon dioxide. Energy, industry, transport, buildings also causes greenhouse gases.  The consequences of these dangerous human activities include intense droughts, water scarcity, severe fires, rising sea levels, flooding, melting polar ice, catastrophic storms and declining biodiversity. 
This has reduced nature's productivity and its ability to regulate climate, and reduced our resilience to climatic events. For instance Malawi experienced extreme rainfall in 2022 which led to devastating flood and displaced about 150,000 people. Miombo-woodland with good quality soil characteristics has been decimated through agriculture and charcoal production. - The Earth is chained up with different systems and changes in one area can influence changes in all others. The African continent has recorded the world’s lowest per capita greenhouse gas emissions, but yet is vulnerable to climate change impacts.  Most Africa's poorest communities are weak to face weather events such as droughts and floods, famine and the livelihood insecurity. To keep global warming to an absolute minimum, we must protect and keep the natural systems that still exist, in concurrent with reducing greenhouse gas emissions as quickly as possible.
It is therefore essential that the international community should not only alleviate awareness of climate change by speaking but complementing with action and pressure in these affected areas. More investments should be made on sustainable and scalable solution developed by the problem identifiers and solvers who best understand the state of the problems.


  • Cameroon Former E-gen Ambassador Dzelamunyuy Simuben
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