Climate change

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Climate change



  • Global warming
  • due to global warming
  • effects of global warming
  • Climate change
  •   increase in global temperature
  • sea level rise
  • rain change
  • Effects on Humans and Human Health
  • effect of global warming on agriculture
  •   loss of ecosystems and biodiversity

Science and technology have made many surprising gains in health and longevity over the past century. At the same time, our industrialized, carbon-dependent societies are causing massive environmental changes, such as global warming, that will undermine many of those advances. Many people fear that climate change is the greatest health threat of the 21st century. Furthermore, it is people who are socially, economically, culturally, politically and institutionally marginalized who are disproportionately affected by climate change, even though they have done little or nothing to produce it.

What does a sociologist need to know about climate change? Sociologists play an important role in climate change research by asking questions that are often overlooked. What are the driving forces of climate change? What is the role of the spread of ideology, large-scale institutional processes, or status consumption? Why and how is the science of climate change disputed? How is climate skepticism and climate denial developed and propagated through the media? How effective are social movements in policy making?

In short, efforts to address climate change are unlikely to be successful without the understanding of human behavior and social dynamics that sociology provides.


The scientific evidence for anthropogenic climate change has been established with increasing accuracy and there are widespread concerns about its potential to undo the public health gains of the last century (IPCC 2014). Human lifestyle has produced unprecedented changes to global and local ecosystems and a growing epidemic of chronic disease.

Climate is often defined as ‘average’ weather over a period of time. It is usually calculated from the averages and variability of temperature, precipitation and wind over a period of 30 years. Earth’s climate changes naturally over time, but when we talk about ‘climate change’ we usually mean changes that are anthropogenic, ie caused by humans, and resulting in an increase in average global temperature above and beyond the Earth’s geological normal variation. History.

Climate change is caused by the accumulation of gases in the atmosphere that prevent the sun’s heat from escaping back into space. These gases include carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and ozone etc. They are more effective at warming the Earth than others, and some may live


in the atmosphere for hundreds or thousands of years. In this module we focus on carbon dioxide (CO2) as it is the primary man-made contributor to global warming.

extracting the stored energy of carbon

The amount of carbon in the Earth’s atmosphere is constant and constantly moves between living and non-living things. Through photosynthesis, plants take CO2 from the atmosphere and release oxygen. This CO2 is converted into carbon compounds and stored. Animals absorb carbon by eating plants. Animals breathe in oxygen and release CO2, which is then available for plants to use in photosynthesis. When plants die and decompose, their carbon is released into the atmosphere or stored in the soil.

For most of Earth’s history, large amounts of carbon have been locked away in fossil fuels – coal, oil and gas – which are the remains of organic matter that lived millions of years ago. The Industrial Revolution unlocked the vast, explosive energy stored in fossil fuels. We use this energy to improve health, especially in industrialized countries, by developing infrastructure, goods production and transportation, access to clean drinking water, food, electricity for homes and workplaces. We also use energy to power transport and machines to make our lives easier, reducing the amount of personal energy used for work and travel. This ‘high-carbon’ lifestyle, in which energy from fossil fuels replaces human energy powered by food, is referred to as “development”.

The burning of fossil fuels has released carbon compounds (in the form of CO2 and other gases) into the atmosphere at a much faster rate than they are released naturally. Other human processes, such as clearing large areas of forest for agriculture or settlements, have reduced the Earth’s capacity to store carbon. We are beginning to realize the need for a more ‘sustainable’ model of development, building societies that meet the needs of the present generation and do not affect the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.




Is climate change happening?

The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has been monitoring scientific research on global temperature change since 1988. A 2014 report concludes that Earth’s average surface temperature has risen by 0.6°C since the late 1800s.

has gone up and is expected to increase. to a minimum of 1.4 degrees by the year 2100. This increase is larger than any century-long trend in the last 10,000 years and is primarily due to human activity. In the worst case, it could rise by more than 4 °C, a rise that would make it difficult for large-scale human civilizations to survive.

how do we know?

Since the 1950s, scientists have measured an increase in the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Temperature data collected from ancient sources (fossil records, pollen counts in ancient bogs, isotopes of oxygen and hydrogen in ice cores) show a strong relationship between temperature and atmospheric CO2 over the past 420,000 years. They also show that Earth was much cooler for most of this time, with “interglacial” periods lasting about 10,000 to 30,000 years.



Temperature data from tree rings, ship logs and meteorological stations show that the planet has warmed by about 1 °C over the past 150 years. The concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere has increased rapidly over the past 50 years. Current levels of CO2 are higher than any measured even in the oldest ice cores; In short, CO2 levels are now higher than at any other time in the history of Homo sapiens’ life on the planet.



A global temperature increase of more than 4 °C would have catastrophic effects on current ecological cycles, partly due to “tipping points” in the climate system. Generally, balance is maintained by negative feedback cycles, where a change in one direction (such as an increase in temperature or acidity) triggers mechanisms that oppose the change (decreasing temperature or acidity). The tipping point occurs when a change triggers a positive feedback cycle. A small change in one direction triggers more changes in the same direction. An example of a positive feedback is that as global temperatures rise, permafrost begins to melt and large amounts of methane accumulate in the tundra.


Methane is a greenhouse gas twenty times more potent than CO2, and its release would lead to faster and more warming.

Tipping point patterns are complex and difficult to predict with mathematical models, so the critical levels at which they occur are usually unclear. Further examples of climate tipping points include the melting of the Greenland ice sheet, the dieback of the Amazon rainforest, and the shift of the West African monsoon. Think about why these changes may ultimately mark a turning point.

Is it caused by human activity?

The term ‘anthropogenic climate change’ refers to that proportion of global warming that is caused by human activity. Scientists have accepted that human activity is the major cause of the current level of global warming. Population growth, urbanization and demand for transport, electricity and processed goods are the main drivers. Nearly half a trillion tons of carbon-based fossil fuels have been burned to power our current lifestyle. The burning of fossil fuels by humans, combined with deforestation for agriculture and building construction, has changed planetary ecosystems (see Figure 2).

Between 1959 and 2008, about 43 per cent of each year’s CO2 emissions remained in the atmosphere, while 57 per cent was naturally absorbed into land and ocean ‘carbon sinks’. The proportion of CO2 emissions removed from the atmosphere dropped from about 60 percent to 55 percent over this period. Models suggest that this trend was caused by a decrease in CO2 uptake by carbon sinks due to climate change and variability.





Adaptation and Mitigation Strategies

Greenhouse gases that have accumulated in the atmosphere since the Industrial Revolution have already warmed the Earth 0.8 degrees Celsius more than it would have naturally been. Some scientific models suggest that global warming may still be limited to a level that we may be able to manage (2°C) with immediate and substantial reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. Other models predict that keeping the temperature rise to below 2°C is unlikely or impossible.

Preparing for the changes resulting from global warming is called climate change adaptation. Adaptation measures include building heatwave warning systems and hedges to protect land from flooding and sea level rise, developing new agricultural crops for the changed climate, and improving living conditions and livelihood prospects for climate refugees.

But in addition to managing the changes we cannot prevent, we must seek to prevent the level of climate change we cannot manage; climate change mitigation. International proposals for climate change mitigation include reducing the amount of fossil fuels burned and protecting forests that absorb carbon.


National policies can be costly unless the cost savings of low-level climate change adaptation are factored in. Furthermore, many climate impacts, such as loss of human life, loss of cultural heritage and loss of ecosystem services, are difficult to value and monetize.

Implementing effective adaptation and mitigation practices requires the involvement of multiple sectors, including healthcare. continuous development

It addresses the environmental, social and economic dimensions involved in the transition to sustainable societies and communities.





Reasons to take action Reasons to avoid action


concern for long-term economic or

Country’s Environmental Sustainability Fossil Fuels Available Cheaply



Desire to keep the country at the forefront of new technologies by providing sustainable subsidies

Energy No domestic alternative to fossil fuels, or pre-

Current commitment to fossil fuel subsidies



Responding to popular demand Responding to pressure from corporate interests



  health and climate change

The worldwide burden of ill health due to climate change is not well determined, but conservative estimates suggest that global warming already causes 200,000 premature deaths each year. More than 85 percent of climate change-related deaths occur in low-income countries, mainly in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, and among children under the age of 5. By mid-century, climate change is expected to exacerbate existing health problems. and expanding the range of vector and water-borne diseases into new areas.

Even in rich countries, there is considerable evidence that preparedness is needed to reduce climate change-related harm. For example, the high temperatures in the European heat wave of 2003 resulted in over 30,000 heat-related deaths and caused billions of dollars in damage and significant loss of life from flooding.

Vulnerable populations—children, elderly people, people living in poverty, people living in certain geographic areas, and people with underlying health conditions—are at even greater health risk from climate change.




Air quality greenhouse gases such as ozone and airborne pollutants associated with the combustion of fossil fuels contribute to an array of respiratory and cardiovascular disease through inflammation of the airways.

Airborne ash from drought-related wildfires contributes to increase in asthma

High levels of atmospheric CO2 act as a fertilizer for plant growth. Earlier and longer-lasting indirect exposure to changes in temperature is expected to alter allergy seasons and allergenic plant distributions



A decrease in the food yield of individuals, a rise in sea level and a change in rainfall patterns reduce crop yields and increase prices. Malnutrition increases the likelihood of infectious diseases, stunted growth, and hinders educational achievement.


Migration and conflict Forced displacement has a greater adverse health impact than voluntary or planned resettlement. These include malnutrition, food and water-borne diseases, sexually transmitted diseases, diseases of overcrowding (measles, meningitis, acute respiratory infections), maternal mortality,

Mental illness

Infection and vector borne

Changes in disease climate make the environment more favorable for human pathogens, allowing for more infections and for changes in the distribution of disease vectors.



Mental health trauma due to conflict, forced migration and extreme weather includes post-traumatic stress, generalized anxiety, depression, aggression, suicide, somatoform disorders and substance use.


Extreme weather events such as heat waves, hurricanes and floods pose immediate and direct risks from injury, illness and death.

Long-term risks include those arising from changes in air quality: increased concentrations of ground-level ozone inflame the airways making them more prone to asthma and emphysema, and air pollution increasing the risk of stroke and heart attack. is attached to.

Indirect risks arise from changes and disruptions to ecological and biophysical systems, affecting food yields, production of aeroallergens (spores and pollen), bacterial growth rates, range and activity of disease vectors (such as mosquitoes), and water flow and quality. Indirect effects of climate change will cause

The greatest number of disability-adjusted life years (DALYS) and death, but may be less noticeable because they occur slowly, follow complex causal pathways, and occur in poorer countries with less robust recordkeeping.


health inequality

The health impacts of climate change are unevenly distributed. Disadvantaged communities are not only most likely to be exposed to climate-related health hazards; As a result, they are more likely to be unwell (higher vulnerability) and have fewer resources to respond to disease.

The risk of weather-related natural disasters is approximately 80 times greater in low-income countries than in high-income countries. More than half of urban residents in Africa and Asia do not have access to adequate water and sanitation and a billion people live in slums in poor countries; Meanwhile, rich countries have harnessed fossil fuel energy to improve nutrition and sanitation, build infrastructure and combat infectious disease. Within countries, it is poorer members of society who are more likely to lack access to clean water, sanitation and healthcare, more likely to experience adverse working conditions during periods of extreme urban heat and increased food prices. more likely to starve because of Climate change.

The world’s poorest one billion people produce only 3 percent of global carbon emissions. I

The burden of disease therefore falls heavily on those who have contributed least to the problem of climate change.





climate change and food production

The production and transportation of food is essential in a world where the population is set to reach 9 billion people by 2050. Malnutrition has many effects. Moderate effects include stunted growth and impaired brain development. In extreme cases, children die from a combination of starvation and immunosuppression. At the population level, conflict is more likely when groups of people compete for food and arable land or are forced to migrate in search of better prospects elsewhere.



Food crop yields are sensitive to both high temperatures and extreme weather. Earlier scientific models suggested that while some agricultural regions would see significant reductions in food production due to heat waves and drought, others, particularly in the global north, would benefit from warmer weather and a longer growing season. Can be Now, however, it is expected that any benefits of a longer summer will be reversed by the effects of erratic weather, particularly prolonged rain storms interspersed with dry weather.

Case Study: Unaffordable Food

In 2007 a pediatrician in a university town in northern India serving a large, mostly rural population admitted a two-year-old boy with gastroenteritis, severe dehydration, and severe malnutrition. His parents were subsistence farmers. The boy and his mother had traveled for 8 hours to reach the ward after selling cattle to pay for bus and taxi fare to reach the hospital. The boy’s father and two of the boy’s siblings stayed at home to look after the crops. The boy was treated with IV fluids, but because his heart was weakened by malnutrition, the fluids pushed him into acute heart failure. He died within hours of reaching the ward.

Children with chronic malnutrition have poor immune systems, are prone to infections, and the biggest killer is acute gastroenteritis. In some rural clinics, 50 percent of children meet the World Health Organization’s criteria for moderate malnutrition. Staff noted that between 2006 and 2007 there was an increase in admissions with malnutrition. World grain prices had increased by 34 percent during the same period. By 2007 parents could only buy two thirds of the food they could buy before. Food prices peaked in mid-2008 at 250 percent of January 2006 prices.


The price increase was due to several factors, including rising oil prices that affect the cost of mechanized production, the use of grain to make biofuels (turning food into petrol) and market speculation. In addition, large-scale drought-related crop failures are attributed to the changing weather conditions that are predicted in climate change models.


Some questions to consider: –


  • Dependence of human health on global and local ecosystems


  • Contribution of human activity and population size to environmental changes


  • Mechanisms by which climate change affects human health








Central to the issue of climate change are the phenomena of global warming and the greenhouse effect. Earth supports life thanks to its gaseous atmosphere, which serves an important function of trapping heat that leaves Earth’s surface. The Sun’s energy drives Earth’s weather and climate. The Earth absorbs energy from the Sun and emits the energy back into space. However, much of this energy that goes back into space is absorbed by “greenhouse” gases in the atmosphere. Since the atmosphere then reflects much of this energy back to Earth’s surface, our planet is warmer than it would be if the atmosphere did not contain these gases. The average global temperature is 15?c. In the absence of greenhouse gases, this temperature would have been -18? C. This effect is called the greenhouse effect and contributes to a temperature rise of up to 33 °C. This regulates the average temperature of the planet and makes it suitable for life. The amount of heat trapped in the atmosphere depends mostly on the concentration of heat trapping or greenhouse gases and the duration of their stay in the atmosphere.



  Green house gases causing global warming

Greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere have historically varied as a result of many natural processes (such as volcanic activity, changes in temperature, etc.). However, humans have added significant amounts of greenhouse gases since the Industrial Revolution. happened during the last century

Combined with cutting down forests by burning fossil fuels such as coal, natural gas, oil and gasoline to run our cars, factories, utilities and appliances, the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere has been greatly increased.


other verbs.

The changes in atmospheric concentration of major greenhouse gases are described below:

carbon dioxide (CO2)

Carbon dioxide, the major greenhouse gas, is mostly controlled by the global carbon cycle and has increased over time. Carbon dioxide is released by the burning of fossil fuels such as coal, oil and biomass. as a result of deforestation

There is less absorption of carbon dioxide. CO2 levels in the atmosphere have risen steadily since the mid-1800s, when the Industrial Revolution began, and this is a cause for concern.

Due to non-deforestation, the level of carbon dioxide has increased further.

of carbon dioxide by plants through photosynthesis.

The concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere increased from about 280 parts per million (ppm) in pre-industrial times to 382 ppm in 2006, an increase of 36 percent (according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Earth Systems Research Laboratory) ). Almost all growth is due to human activities

(IPCC, 2007). The current rate of increase in CO2 concentration is about 1.9 ppmv/year. Current CO2 concentrations are higher than at any time in at least the last 650,000 years (IPCC, 2007).

methane (CH4)

Other gases whose levels have increased due to human activities are methane, nitrous oxide. Methane is released from submerged rice fields and when waste materials decompose in an oxygen-free environment in garbage dumps. Cattle farming also contributes to increasing methane emissions. Methane is now more abundant in the Earth’s atmosphere than at any time in at least the last 650,000 years (IPCC, 2007). Methane concentrations increased rapidly during most of the 20th century and are now 148% above pre-industrial levels. In recent decades, the rate of increase has slowed down considerably.

nitrous oxide (N2O)

Nitrous oxide is produced during biomass burning and when nitrogen-based fertilizers are used. Nitrous oxide (N2O) has increased by about 18 percent in the last 200 years



and continues to grow. For about 11,500 years from the industrial period, N2O concentrations changed little. It increased relatively rapidly in the late 20th century (IPCC, 2007).

tropospheric ozone (O3)

Ozone is created by chemical reactions from automobile, power plant and other industrial and commercial source emissions in the presence of sunlight. It is estimated that O3 has increased by about 36% since the pre-industrial era, although substantial variations exist between regions and overall trends (IPCC, 2007). In addition to being a greenhouse gas, ozone can also be a harmful air pollutant at ground level, especially for people with respiratory diseases and for children and adults who are active outdoors. Measures are being taken to reduce ozone emissions in the US (through the Clean Air Act) and other countries as well.

Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and Hydro-Chlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs)

The gases are used in coolants, foaming agents, fire extinguishers, solvents, insecticides, and aerosol propellants. These compounds have grown steadily since their introduction in 1928. The concentrations are gradually decreasing as a result of their phasing through the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer.

Fluorinated gases such as hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), and sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) are often used as substitutes for CFCs and HCFCs and are increasing in the atmosphere. These various fluorinated gases are sometimes called “high global warming potential greenhouse gases” because, molecule for molecule, they trap more heat than CO2.

One of the major GHGs is carbon dioxide. Besides carbon dioxide, other naturally occurring GHGs are methane, nitrous oxide, and water vapor. The concentration of these greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is important for maintaining balance in Earth systems. The heat trapped by greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is what keeps the planet warm enough for us and other species to survive.



effects of global warming

Compared to CO2, man-made greenhouse gases have a significant global warming potential (GWP) and remain in the atmosphere for much longer. added


The gases – mainly carbon dioxide and methane – are exacerbating the natural greenhouse effect, and contributing to increases in global average temperatures and related climate changes. Global warming is taking place as a result of the increase in the concentration of heat-trapping gases in the Earth’s atmosphere.

Warming or cooling of more than 2 °C over the past few decades could prove disastrous for various ecosystems on Earth including humans as it would alter the conditions of life.

Aster can adapt or migrate faster than some species. Some areas will become habitable due to drought or flooding after the mean sea level rises.

A sharp increase in concentrations of natural greenhouse gases has been noted since the Industrial Revolution (circa 1750), with human activities substantially increasing the amount of heat-trapping greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The burning of fossil fuels and biomass (living matter such as vegetation) has also caused emissions and this only reinforces the fact that human activities are responsible for this increase.

The increased greenhouse effect will not only cause global warming but also affect various other climatic and natural processes.



  Climate change

Climate models calculate that the global average surface temperature could increase by about 1 to 4.5 degrees centigrade by 2100. Global warming

Climate is creating an imbalance in the regulation systems and it has wide ranging effects.

Over the past few years, we have been witnessing changes in climate conditions in many places around the world – severe heat waves, unusually high rainfall in short periods of time, snowfall in places that normally do not occur and an increase in the number and Intensity of storms, windstorms and floods. Evidence of glacier retreat has been found across the world, including the Himalayas in Asia, the Alps in Europe, the Rockies and Alaskan glaciers in North America, the Andean glaciers in South America, tropical and subtropical glaciers in Oceania and New Zealand, Greenland, Iceland, etc. ,



  Rise in global temperature:

It is estimated that if the input of greenhouse gases continues to increase at the present rate, by 2050 the average temperature of the Earth will rise between 1.5 and 5.5 °C. Even at the low value, the Earth would be as hot as it has been for 10,000 years.



  Rise in sea level:

With the increase in global temperature, sea water will expand. The warming will cause the polar ice sheets and glaciers to melt resulting in further rise in sea level. Current models indicate that an increase in mean atmospheric temperature of 3 °C would lead to an increase in mean global sea level by 0.2–1.5 m over the next 50–100 years. Eventually, rising waters may carry away land inhabited by people, forcing them to relocate. A one meter rise in sea level would inundate low-lying areas of cities such as Shanghai, Cairo, Bangkok, Sydney, Hamburg and Venice, as well as agricultural lowlands and deltas in Egypt, Bangladesh, India, China and affect rice productivity Will be It would also disturb many commercially important spawning grounds, and likely increase the frequency of storm damage to lagoons, estuaries and coral reefs. Being largely populous and poor, Bangladesh would lose something like a sixth of the country to sea level rise. Bangladesh cannot build barriers to stop the sea, so people will have to move inland, increasing population density and increasing hunger and disease. The Maldive Islands in the Indian Ocean have the same problem. They are a country of 1190 islands with an average elevation of about

1.5 m above sea level. If sea level rises, more than 200,000 people will have to leave their homes. Sea level rise will affect the lives of millions of people, especially those who live in the deltas of the Ganges, Nile, Mekong, Yangtze and Mississippi rivers.

In addition there will be flooding of coastal estuaries, wetlands and coral reefs; Beach erosion, salinization of coastal aquifers due to salt water and disruption of coastal fisheries. Warming oceans may also encourage toxic algae that can cause cholera. Some of the most beautiful cities like Mumbai can be saved by investing heavily in embankments to prevent floods.


rain change

An increase in temperature leads to an increase in evaporation which leads to more rain


(IPCC, 2007). As the average global temperature has increased, so has the average global rainfall. According to the IPCC, rainfall has generally increased over land north of 30°N from 1900–2005, but has declined mostly in the tropics since the 1970s. It has become significantly wetter in North and South America, northern Europe, and eastern parts of northern and central Asia, but drier in the Sahel, the Mediterranean, southern Africa, and parts of southern Asia. Although the number of heavy rainfall events has increased in many regions during the last century, the prevalence of drought has increased since the 1970s – particularly in tropical and subtropical regions.



Effects on humans and human health:

It is widely believed that by the year 2100a the global average temperature may increase by 1.4 degree to 5.8 degree centigrade.

And this can translate into heat and health issues for those who are unaccustomed or less prepared for the change. The effects of such changes in environmental temperature may result in more frequent extreme high maximum temperatures and less frequent low minimum temperatures.

“Climate change is expected to have widespread and mostly adverse impacts on human health, with significant loss of life,” said a statement released from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). As temperatures rise toward the poles, insects and other pests, like farmland, move toward Earth’s poles. These insects and pests can be allowed to migrate up to 550 kilometers or 550 miles. Some insects carry diseases such as malaria and dengue fever. Thus, the increase of these particular insects and pests near the poles leads to an increase in these diseases. This could result in an additional 50 to 80 million cases of malaria annually, an increase of 10–15%.

The most obvious effect of global warming would be heat and cold waves. This will increase the number of deaths of both humans and animals. With the increase in heat waves, there will be more people who will suffer from heatstroke, heart attacks and other heat-aggravating illnesses. According to the EPA, “In July 1995, a heat wave killed more than 700 people in the Chicago area alone.”

Warmer conditions can also cause smog particles and harmful gases to linger in the air and speed up chemical reactions that produce other pollutants. This can increase the risk of respiratory diseases such as bronchitis and asthma. The danger increases.



Other health effects are those of weather-related disasters, and are an increase in the incidence of depression and psychological effects, in addition to immediate death and injury.



  effect of global warming on agriculture

From the perspective of agriculture, it is believed that global warming is good for mankind, as it helps in increasing the food production. Climate change affects agriculture through direct and indirect effects such as changes in temperature, precipitation, biological and physical environments.

“The most determining factor in agricultural production is climate. History shows that for food production, warming is better than cooling. Also carbon dioxide is an essential nutrient for the production of food, and food is one of the most important factors in our lives. One of the important things. As temperatures rise, more farms will be open towards the poles and the length of the growing season will be longer. With all those people who go hungry every day, food production has to be one of our main concerns. needed.

Reduced availability of irrigation water due to warmer temperatures will also be a major negative for arid regions. Many of our most productive agricultural areas depend heavily on irrigation. In addition, irrigated areas (from evaporating water) have a local cooling effect that lowers temperatures, helping crops survive summer temperatures. Thus, less irrigation would lead to global-warming-induced temperature increases in water-scarce areas. It is worth noting that 40% of the world’s food supply comes from the 2% of land that is irrigated.

Agriculture will become increasingly difficult with the effects of global warming. Due to drought and other natural calamities, farmers will find it difficult to grow crops. We have some questions to consider: Will you be able to eat the same food you are used to eating? What will happen to the world’s food supply? The effects of global warming on agriculture are hypothesized to be:

Attack of diseases and fungi on crops:

The attack of diseases and other pathogens will reduce the quality and production. Without periods of normal cold, diseases and invasive species would spread more easily, affecting more of our world’s food supply. The farmers would either have to sell the food grains as is, or





Spray it with harmful chemicals that can harm our health.

Destruction of existing crops due to natural calamities

Floods, droughts, and hailstorms are just some of the problems farmers will have to deal with more frequently as global warming worsens.

Disappearance of once abundant food items:

Crops that are abundant may disappear or become more expensive. Devastating, recurring natural disasters, along with an increasing world population, will increase the demand for staple foods such as rice, corn, and wheat. This would lead to worldwide food shortages and dramatically increase prices.

Water availability is one of the most dramatic consequences of climate change for the agricultural sector. However, it is expected to be even more limited in the future. The water deficit is due to potential evapotranspiration-transpiration increase. It is related to the increase in the temperature of the air and the earth’s surface. This phenomenon is significant in climates with little rainfall, and even more so in arid regions. The number of areas with soil moisture loss is expected to increase, again

Direct economic consequences on production capacity (IPCC 1994). The decline in soil moisture implies a significant reduction in the potential productivity of dryland crops; This can be a threat to economic viability. Increase in heavy rainfall has an impact on erosion and soil desertification index. Higher evaporation-transpiration rates produce a higher frequency of times over which the soil surface is dry and, therefore, more vulnerable to wind erosion.





loss of ecosystems and biodiversity

Rapid climate change will have serious effects on natural ecosystems. Plant and animal species will be forced to migrate to keep up with climate change. Species adapted to colder climates may become extinct as their habitats disappear. The damage to sensitive ecosystems can be enormous. Large areas of forests may disappear due to extreme heat waves and more wildfires. Forest fires can further increase the CO2 load in the atmosphere.





The impact of climate change will affect the social and economic structure of nations


Worldwide. Terrorism, civil war and economic crisis can be some of the consequences. The environmental imbalance caused by global warming can lead to war-like conflicts between nations for resources like water. Sea level rise and changing weather patterns could lead to mass migration from more severely affected areas. All these consequences of global warming will result in huge financial loss.



There is a lack of unanimity among scientists regarding the uncertainties in global warming models and the consequences of rising levels of greenhouse gases.

This has seriously reduced the possibility of suggesting management solutions. At the political level there are three schools of thought ranging from drastic measures to reduce greenhouse gases to suggestions that nothing should be done. The first approach is a wait and see approach. Believers of this view believe that global warming will not necessarily be harmful and that until overwhelming adverse climate change has become established, counter measures are inappropriate. The second approach is “adaptation to incurable change”. According to this view, prevention of global warming is useless and instead humanity should rely on its innate ability to evolve to adapt to changes in the environment. A third approach to global warming is the “act now” approach that calls for an immediate legislative response.

The different management approaches can be classified as

  1. Reduction in the amount of green house gases emitted into the environment by the burning of fossil fuels. efficiently remove carbon dioxide from the smoke stack;
  2. Complete elimination of fossil fuels as energy sources and transition to renewable energy resources that do not emit GHGs;
  3. Increasing the use of energy efficient and clean production technologies processes;
  4. Reduction in the effects of greenhouse gas emissions by reforestation for alternative methods of CO2 sequestration or reduction in carbon dioxide disposal;
  5. Adoption of practices and techniques to make agriculture sustainable;
  6. To create mass awareness about the need to take appropriate steps for a safe and sustainable environment.





global effort

In 1990, the United Nations General Assembly established the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC) for the Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC). The Convention was signed in June 1992 at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (Earth Summit) in Rio de Janeiro by 154 countries and the European Union (EU). By November 1999, 181 states and the European Union had ratified the convention, which committed signatories to make voluntary efforts to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases.

At a meeting of member states held in Kyoto in December 1997, representatives approved the Kyoto Protocol and called for a joint reduction of GHG emissions by industrialized countries to 5 percent below 1990 levels. These targets were set to be achieved in the period 2008–12, known as the first commitment period.


The reduction of carbon dioxide emissions should be reduced either by global efficiency, removal of harmful gases from thermal plants and flue gases of industries, or by using new energy sources. Deforestation is more important because slash and burn agriculture in the tropics is devastating to the environment. There is a need to shift from coal and gasoline to natural gas plants and to embrace solar, wind, geothermal and nuclear energy efforts. Plant more and more trees.. Remove atmospheric carbon dioxide by using photosynthetic algae.








climate change and carbon footprint




Carbon dioxide is one of the essential gases in the environment and also an important nutrient of biogeochemical cycles without which the system would collapse. Carbon dioxide is necessary for plants to produce food through photosynthesis. Carbon dioxide also plays a major role in keeping Earth warm enough to be habitable. Also the excess of CO2 is dangerous for the stability of our planet. In this module, we will try to understand why this gas has gained a central place in the discussions about mitigating climate change. We’ll begin with some conceptual clarification on a phenomenon related to our topic: sources of carbon, the Earth’s radiation budget, climate change, and the greenhouse effect. Addressing and understanding the problem at the individual level and at the international level through carbon footprint and emissions trading. We will find out what steps are being taken to reduce the problem of carbon emissions through economic instruments like carbon trading, its evolution so far and India’s stand on it.



sources of carbon


There are many sources of carbon and below are examples of sources of carbon and how carbon is returned to the system from the atmosphere. Carbon was naturally present in the atmosphere, but the increase in human activities such as industrialization and the continuous increase in the combustion of fossil fuels lead to an excess of carbon in the atmosphere in the form of carbon compounds. Due to increasing deforestation, excess of carbon is not able to stabilize and remains in the atmosphere. The remaining carbon in the form of carbon dioxide forms a layer around the Earth that traps

Helps in keeping heat and earth warm when there is no source of heat i.e. during night time. This CO2 excess will result in excess heat being trapped. More details about this will be explained in the subsequent sections.

Source – Thomas M. Smith – Chapter 23 / p. 449

Earth’s radiation budget

To understand the role of CO2 we need to understand its place and functions in the Earth’s radiation budget (energy entering, reflected, absorbed and emitted by the Earth system).

are components of the Earth’s radiation budget). Radiation with shorter wavelengths enters the Earth’s atmosphere. Most of it is radiated back by the atmosphere but a part of it is absorbed and trapped by the gases in the atmosphere, these are called


Green house gases. They emit the absorbed energy through radiations of longer wavelengths in all directions. Part of that radiation escapes the Earth’s atmosphere and the remaining emissions heat the lower atmosphere. This heats up the surface of the earth. This heating mechanism is known as green house effect and the gases involved in this process are green house gases

Source: IPCC Fourth Report


What is Greenhouse Gas (GHG)?


“Greenhouse gases” refers to those gaseous components of the atmosphere, both natural and anthropogenic, that absorb and emit infrared radiation.

The GHG basket consists of six direct gases, namely: CO2 – carbon dioxide; CH4 – methane; N2O – nitrous oxide; PFC – Perfluorocarbon; HFCs – hydrofluorocarbons and SF6 – sulfur hexafluoride.


Why carbon?

In explaining the radiation budget, we looked at the mechanism by which the Earth’s surface is heated. One of the gases that absorbs terrestrial radiation (radiation from Earth) is CO2. There are many other GHGs that absorb radiation such as water vapour, methane, nitrous oxide but what comes to mind are two things: abundance and residual between large sources and sinks.

Abundance: CO2 is the second most abundant GHG after water vapor. The problem is its airborne fraction (AF), defined as the fraction of anthropogenic (made by humans) carbon emissions that remains in the atmosphere after natural processes have absorbed some of them. The main reason for this increased amount is the emissions from various sources like industries, power plants etc. Human induced high emissions have increased especially after the industrial revolution.

This created an imbalance between sources and sinks of the gas (CO2) as natural sinks (where the gas is absorbed) are unable to absorb the large amount of CO2 produced and as a result it remains suspended in the atmosphere. This is known as the residual between sources and sinks. Major sinks for CO2 are forests, oceans

The diagram below shows the sinks and sources of carbon through the carbon cycle.



What are the sources and sinks of CO2?

Sources are points of release of CO2 into the atmosphere. The major sources of CO2 are:

  1. Combustion: CO2 is released by burning of fuel
  2. Land Use Change:

Combustion: The burning of fossil fuels is the major source of CO2 in the environment.


What is fossil fuel?

Fossil fuels—coal, petroleum (oil) and natural gas—are in the form of

Evolved from organic matter within the Earth’s crust over the course of millions of years. The age in which they were formed is called the Carboniferous period. The ‘Carboniferous’ get their name from carbon, which is the basic element in fossil fuels. It has got the name ‘fossil’ because of the period of its formation and its location under the earth. Fossil fuels are currently the world’s primary energy source. However, fossil fuels are limited resources and they can also cause irreparable damage to the environment. There are various techniques like carbon capture and carbon storage to deal with this problem.

What is carbon capture and storage?

Carbon capture and storage (CCS), also known as carbon capture and sequestration, is a process that collects carbon dioxide (CO2) that would otherwise be emitted into the atmosphere by industrial and power generation sources, and long pumps it deep underground for long-term storage. ,

Carbon dioxide (CO2) can be captured before or after combustion. In integrated gasification and combined cycle power plants, carbon dioxide is removed pre-combustion in the gasification process. In conventional coal-fired power plants, carbon can be captured after combustion using a refrigerated ammonia solution, which captures the pollutant from the flue gas before it is released into the atmosphere.






People and Carbon Emissions: Carbon Footprints

With the aim of reducing GHG emissions, governments, decision makers and businesses have started looking for ways and means to reduce global warming. This brings up the need to understand which activities increase GHG emissions and how they can be effectively reduced. Thus, the ‘carbon footprint’ (CF) concept has become a popular tool for estimating GHG emissions related to human activities. Despite its increasing presence and acceptance by the media, business houses, and often being mentioned by world leaders during their presentations on climate change, there is no agreed definition, use, or measurement of the carbon footprint.


The origins of the carbon footprint can be traced back to the concept of ‘ecological footprint’ in the early 1990s. Ecological footprint refers to the biologically productive land and sea area required to sustain a human population, expressed as global hectares (Wackernagel and Rees 1996 and Rees 1992).


According to this concept, carbon footprint refers to the land area required to assimilate the entire

Essential CO2 is produced by mankind during its lifetime. Over time as the issue of global warming took prominence in the world environmental agenda, the use of carbon footprint independently became common, albeit in a modified form (pre 2008). The concept of carbon footprinting has been in use for several decades, but is referred to differently as the life cycle impact category indicator global warming potential (Finkbeiner 2009). So



The current form of carbon footprint can be seen as a hybrid, taking its name from “ecological footprint”, and conceptually a global warming potential indicator.

Carbon footprint is a measure of an individual’s contribution to global warming in terms of the amount of GHGs produced by that individual and is measured in units of carbon dioxide equivalent (Linas, 2007).




What is “CO2 equivalent”?

GHG emissions/removals can be expressed either in terms of physical units (such as grams, tons, etc.) or in terms of CO2 equivalents (gram CO2 equivalent, ton CO2 equivalent, etc.). The conversion factor from physical units to CO2 equivalent is the Global Warming Potential (GWP) of the relevant GHG. If X Gg of CH4 is to be expressed in terms of CO2 equivalent, it is multiplied by 21, which is the GWP of CH4 on the 100 years time scale (UNFCCC Secretariat).

The carbon footprint is made up of the sum of two parts, the direct or primary footprint is a measure of our direct emissions of CO2 from the burning of fossil fuels, including household energy consumption and transportation (such as cars and aircraft); And the indirect or secondary footprint is a measure of indirect CO2 emissions from the entire lifecycle of the products and services we use, including those associated with their manufacture and eventual breakdown (Tucker and Jensen, 2006).

There is a growing awareness of individual behavior or lifestyle as a source of global carbon emissions (Bin and Daulatabadi, 2005). Calculating personal and household carbon footprints is a powerful tool that enables individuals to quantify their own carbon dioxide emissions and link them to activities and behaviour. Such models play an important role in educating the public in the management and reduction of CO2 emissions through self-assessment and determination. The carbon emissions model could potentially be used in the future as the basis for the calculation of carbon taxes, the allocation of carbon units and individual carbon


In the available literature, other terms are sometimes used as synonyms or synonyms of carbon footprint, such as carbon, carbon content, embedded carbon, carbon flux, virtual carbon, GHG footprint and climate footprint.

While the term itself is rooted in the language of ecological footprint, the general baseline is that carbon footprint stands for a certain amount of GHG emissions that are relevant to climate change and associated with human production or consumption activities. But this is where the similarity almost ends. There is no consensus on how to quantify or measure a carbon footprint. The spectrum of definitions ranges from direct CO2 emissions to full life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions and the units of measurement are also unclear.


“… a technology for identifying and measuring greenhouse gas emissions separately from each activity within a supply chain process step and a framework for attributing these to each output product (we [The Carbon Trust] call this product by product will be referred to as

‘carbon footprint’).” (CarbonTrust 2007, p.4)

Energetics (2007) “…the full range of direct and indirect CO2 emissions”

your business activities.

ETAP (2007) “…the ‘carbon footprint’ is a measure of the impact of human activities on the environment

The production of greenhouse gases is measured in tonnes of carbon dioxide.


While academics have largely neglected the issue of definition, consultants, businesses, NGOs and the government itself have stepped forward and provided their own definitions. In the UK, the Carbon Trust aims to develop a more general understanding of a product’s carbon footprint. (Carbon Trust 2007). This emphasized that only inputs, outputs and unit processes that are directly linked to the product should be included, while some indirect emissions – e.g. From workers coming into the factory – don’t factor in. A more inclusive definition is set out by Wiedmann, T. and Minx, J. (2008). “The carbon footprint is a measure of the total amount of carbon dioxide emissions directly and indirectly caused by an activity or accumulated over the life stages of a product.”2 The central concern remains climate change.



Climate Change and UNFCCC

There is growing scientific evidence that burning fossil fuels contributes to rising temperatures and extreme weather events. The effects of greenhouse gases (GHGs) from burning fossil fuels from human activities are dramatically changing the environmental, political and social landscape and climate change. “Climate change” means the change of climate which is



directly or indirectly attributed to human activity that changes the composition of the global atmosphere and that

is in addition to the natural climate variability observed in the FCCC 1992).

In 1992, during the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro, or better known as the ‘Earth Summit’, countries agreed on legal obligations on GHG emissions. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) aims to curb global climate change and came into force on 21 March 1994. Stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system, in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Convention.


Such a level must be achieved within a time-frame sufficient to allow ecosystems to naturally adapt to climate change, ensure that food production is not threatened, and allow economic development in sustainable ways. … stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system.

The start of negotiations for the Kyoto Protocol really made ‘carbon’ a 21st century ‘thing’, where the carbon footprint and carbon trading concepts took shape.



Kyoto Protocol and Emissions Trading.

Command and Control (CAC) and Economic Incentive (EI) are two major tools that were used in policy making regarding the improvement of the environment. The CAC emphasizes adherence to stringent standards to reduce emissions and an economic model of taxation based on both production and consumption of emissions through EI tradable units, emission fees and exchanges. The Kyoto Protocol adopts the EI model to control emissions.

Adopted in 1997, the Kyoto Protocol is an international agreement linked to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which commits its parties by setting internationally binding emissions reduction targets (UNFCCC). Recognizing the role of economies in the emission of carbon through their industries and economic models, it was being formulated in hopes of encouraging economies to reduce their emission levels. The Kyoto Protocol operates on the principle of “common but differentiated responsibilities”. Through this principle, the protocol places a heavy burden on developed countries to reduce and prevent emission levels. The following are categories of Parties as defined by the UNFCCC according to their commitments.

The Kyoto Protocol entered into force in February 2005 with its first commitment period from 2008 to 2012. In December 2012 the “Doha Amendment to the Kyoto Protocol was adopted” for a second commitment period from 2013 to 2020. The major contribution of this amendment was

One. It defined new commitments for Annex I parties

  1. Revised list of reportable greenhouse gases


The Protocol operates primarily through national measures of the Parties (countries), but has also provided for market-based mechanisms to achieve, promote, and incentivize the goal.


Annex I parties include industrialized countries that were members of the OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) in 1992, as well as countries with economies in transition (EIT parties), including the Russian Federation, the Baltic states, and several Central and Eastern European states. .


Annex II Parties include OECD members of Annex I, but not EIT Parties. They are required to provide financial resources to help developing countries carry out emission reduction activities under the Convention and adapt to the adverse effects of climate change. In addition, they must “take all practicable steps” to promote the development and transfer of environmentally friendly technologies to EIT Parties and developing countries. Funding provided by Annex II Parties is channeled mostly through the financial mechanism of the Convention.


The non-Annex I parties are mostly developing countries. Certain groups of developing countries are recognized by the Convention as being particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change, including low-lying countries and those prone to desertification and drought. Others (such as countries that rely heavily on income from fossil fuel production and commerce) feel more vulnerable to the potential economic impacts of climate change response measures. The Convention emphasizes activities that promise to respond to the special needs and concerns of these vulnerable countries, such as investment, insurance and technology transfer.


The 49 Parties classified as least developed countries (LDCs) by the United Nations receive special attention under the Convention because of their limited ability to respond to climate change and adapt to its adverse effects. Parties are urged to take full account of the special status of LDCs when considering funding and technology-transfer activities


Several categories of observer organizations also attend sessions of the COP and its subsidiary bodies. These include representatives of UN secretariat units and bodies such as UNDP, UNEP and UNCTAD, as well as

and its specialized agencies and related organizations, such as the GEF and the WMO/UNEP Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).





international emissions trading

Clean Development Mechanism

joint implementation.

International emissions trading: application of market-based approaches to GHG emissions control, in particular carbon. Essentially this means treating pollution as a commodity. It operates as a trade in pollutants through a “cap and trade” system. It entails the creation of a cap on emission levels and then considers that cap as the basis for making permits. It can be seen as a policy instrument to control GHG emissions. Aimed at promoting operational excellence through existing and new technologies.


Clean Development Mechanism: allowing an Annex B country to implement a project targeted at emissions reduction. Such projects can earn marketable certificate

Integrated Emission Reduction (CER) credits, each equivalent to one tonne of CO2, can be counted towards meeting Kyoto targets (UNFCCC).

Joint Implementation: A mechanism known as “Joint Implementation”, as defined in Article 6 of the Kyoto Protocol, allows a country to implement Emission Reduction Units (ERUs) with an emission reduction or limit commitment under the Kyoto Protocol (Annex B party). allows you to earn. An emissions-reduction or emissions-removal project in another Annex B party, each one tonne of CO2 equivalent, can be counted towards meeting its Kyoto target (UNFCCC).

Parties with commitments under the Kyoto Protocol (Annex B Parties) have accepted targets to limit or reduce emissions. These targets are expressed as levels of emissions or “prescribed amounts” allowed during the 2008–2012 commitment period. Permitted emissions are divided into “specified amount units” (AAUs). Emissions trading, as set out in Article 17 of the Kyoto Protocol, allows countries that have excess emissions units – emissions allowed but not “used” them – to sell this excess capacity to those countries. that exceed their targets (UNFCCC).

What is ERU?

An “emission reduction unit” or “ERU” is a unit equal to one metric ton of carbon dioxide, calculated using the global warming potential as defined by the Parties to the UNFCCC.

What is CER?

A “Certified Emissions Reduction” or “CER” is a unit of emissions equal to one metric ton of carbon dioxide released, calculated using a global warming potential as defined by the parties.

What is AAU?

An “Aspected Amount Unit” or “AAU” is a unit equal to one metric ton of carbon dioxide, calculated by the Parties using a global warming potential.

What is RMU?

A “removal unit” or “RMU” is a unit equal to one metric ton of carbon dioxide, a carbon credit related to land use and forestry.

Where does India stand?

Given India’s socioeconomic and geopolitical situation, there are larger issues that limit its commitment to the Protocol. Several initiatives have been taken by the government at the national level to combat climate change in general and emissions in particular. A historical argument made by developing countries is that the bulk of the burden of emissions control should be borne by developed countries. The argument is rooted in the observation that anthropogenic emissions have steadily increased since the Industrial Revolution and developed countries were the main host.

Whether or not every country becomes a signatory to the protocol, the damage that high-speed emissions have done is obvious and future problems can be predicted from that. there is one


There is a great responsibility at the global level that all countries have to participate to ensure that it is done with all sincerity.






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