Alarmist barometer

Representational Image.

A direly alarmist signal has been emitted to the world at large and the risk of the Earth ~ to which the world belongs ~ slipping into what they call the “hothouse state” is dangerously real.

The report of scientists of the Stockholm Resilience Center, the University of Copenhagen, the Australian National University, and the Potsdam Institute of Climate Change Research is close to the bone, unlike the periodic jaw-jaw and the conflict of interests that have marked the climate-change conferences in Cancun and Paris.

The report has been advanced amidst a heatwave that has pushed temperatures above 40 degrees Celsius in Europe, where the weather almost round the year is salubrious when not severely cold.

The fine print of the findings is pretty obvious. True, uncontrolled warming is as yet uncertain, but a dramatic climate-change is not implausible. The researchers have conveyed a stark message to the world ~ in an effort to avoid a natural catastrophe, they have underlined the imperative to move “from exploitation to stewardship of the Earth”.

This indeed is the fundamental task that successive climate-change conferences have scarcely been able to address. The caveat is applicable as much to the developed countries of Europe as it is to the United States of America, whose President chose to be a no-show at the Paris climate-change conference last December.

The experts have warned that if global temperatures rise by more than 2 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial levels, it will lead to “hothouse conditions”, rendering some areas of the Earth “uninhabitable”.

Beyond the reduction of emissions, there has to be a concerted essay towards creating new “carbon stores” ~ chiefly by allowing forests to expand in the natural course, conserving bio-diversity, and creating technology that can remove carbon dioxide from the air.

It is a fairly comprehensive package ~ and not the least for India ~ to tackle global warming, and it is fervently to be hoped that the comity of nations will have the nerve and the determination to give it a try. Awesome indeed have been reports from Europe.

Mercifully, there were no casualties in this week’s wildfires in Portugal ~ one of several such chilling incidents that have occurred in different parts of the world this year. Excessive temperatures and high wind speeds were contributory factors in these fires, both consequences of climate change.

Experts have suggested that such natural disasters are a “taster of full-blown climate change”, bringing in its wake extreme weather conditions, pressure on public utilities, unreliable rainfall patterns, reduced agricultural crops, and increased deaths from heat and humidity.

In a word, the “environmental timebombs”, so-called, are waiting to go off alongside man-made climate change. The upward curve of the climate-graph is unnerving and it is an alarmist barometer that confronts the world today.