Rising Waters: The Effects of Climate Change In Asia
What is climate change?
As climate change grips the world, the Asian continent is going to face the brunt of the attack.
The residents of Pumai village depend on the glaciers of Mt. Everest for their water supply, but are now facing water shortage and drier conditions as the glaciers retreat.
Rising temperatures are a new factor of the global climate, caused mainly by increased carbon emissions. Carbon emissions result from a variety of human activities, including the combustion of oil, gas, and coal. Deforestation also contributes to the impact of carbon emissions, as trees typically intake carbon and release oxygen, and a lack of trees increases the amount of carbon emissions that are not recycled. Unfortunately, widespread deforestation on the planet has resulted in lesser amounts of recycling via plants.
In Asia, many companies have free range, producing and deforesting at significant amounts. This era of free markets has enabled widespread industrialization, at the cost of production unsustainable by the environment.
Typically, heat dissipates out of the atmosphere into space, causing little harm or impact on the world. However, in recent years, the “greenhouse effect”, caused by the increased production of greenhouse gases, which are gases that contribute to the greenhouse effect by absorbing infrared radiation, has furthered the warming of the planet by trapping these gases and retaining heat, as well as decreasing the ability of layers such as the ozone layer to remove harmful ultraviolet rays from entering the atmosphere. The “greenhouse effect” has been occurring for years, mainly due to increased creation of carbon dioxide from mankind’s increased dependency on industrial production. These effects are felt most severely by humans themselves, as climate change can, and does, impact human health.
Climate Change and Its impact on Global Health
Impacts of Climate Change
Climate change is disastrous for human health as the impacts of it ripple out into the world, heavily hurting those in lower income areas who cannot afford certain privileges such as better water filtration or the ability to move away from environmental consequences. Global research has determined the potential impact of the growing climate crisis, and attribute a great part of its impact to Asia.
According to the UN framework, “ Asia’s large population, the frequency of natural disasters in the region, and a sometimes chaotic process of urbanisation, with population relocation to coastal cities, are some of the factors that make Asia especially vulnerable to the risk of climate change”.
The impact is already evident in natural disasters, such as the deadly Haiyan typhoon which hit the Philippines in 2013. Research has indicated that the rising global temperatures contributes both to higher ocean levels, a result of melting glaciers and other polar ice caps, and more significant natural disasters. Over 6,000 people have died as a result of the Haiyan typhoon. Unfortunately, this is just the start.
Now, why should we care?
The answer is simple. The impact of the lives lost in these disasters that mankind has brought upon themselves will be felt by the world at large.