Climate change has become a global issue and an issue that is causing a great debate. Green house emissions caused by pollution are projected to cause an increase in temperatures. In 1894, Jean Joseph Fourier a French mathematician was the first talk about the effects of climate change. His research showed that increase in certain activities e.g. pollution will cause climate change. In 2010, scientists from Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change agreed that human activities are exclusively responsible for the warming effect on the worldwide climate.
On 6 April 2010, Stefan Rahmstorf from Nature Publishing Group published an online Nature Reports Climate Change commentary of rise in sea level. The article focused on Antarctica and Greenland, places we could term as ‘refrigerated, Marie S. O’Neil was the main author of an article that focused on the issues of climate change. It was a published in 2010 in international journal of public health and belonged to a unique issue “Climate changes health”. The article presented findings and recommendations collected through a survey that was designed to avert health problems and reduce heat waves in the USA.
Rahmstorf stated that the 2007 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change found that the sea level would rise from 18 centimeters to 59 centimeters between 1990 and 2090. The IPCC came up with new semi- empirical approaches of estimating rises in sea level. As it continues getting warm, the ice continues to melt at higher rate. “I don’t care, after all I won’t be alive by then” That’s what many of us are likely to say but we should ask ourselves, where could we be if at all our forefathers tampered with climate change patterns? Scientists prefer using the new semi- empirical approaches rather than the physical climate models because they reproduce well past rises in sea level and the fact that physical climate models have several limitations. However, semi- empirical approaches have their limitation too; the model fails to ascertain that the historic connection between the temperature and rise in sea level will keep on holding in the future; the approach fails to treat glaciers from the mountain separately from frost and the approach fails to account for changes in nonlinear flow of ice which is expected in the future by glaciologists. Rahmstorf is keen to note that reaching the upper limits projections focused by the popular media is unlikely but proposes the use of use of central estimates for projections of rises in sea level.
O’Neill warns that everyone will be at risk of heat related illnesses and deaths but those living in the urban will be hit most due to urban heat island effect. From Rahmstorf’s article, the past two decades have shown losses on mass of ice from both Greenland and Antarctica at an escalating rate due to green house emissions. Many people would vote for cold seasons to completely disappear but the truth is; extreme hot conditions would be more unbearable in the future than the current cold conditions.
As per O’Neill’s article, the survey conducted by the US local government stated that in order to ensure the establishment of preventive programs, financial resources and new partnerships are needed. Failure to embark on actions of alleviating the climate change will result to global warming, extreme heat waves and weather events, increased durations of high heat intensity, increased mortality rate and increased health problems. To minimize these effects, measures like reduction of greenhouse emissions, public advisories, installation of vegetated roofs, use of cool paving materials and mitigation of town heat islands by planting trees have to be considered. O’Neill gives a reference of the study made by Haines and Patz in 2004 and Patz and Khaliq in 2002 that in order to prevent climate change through societal change, community mobilization and health public campaigns should be carried out to prevent illnesses related to heat. Biomedical, socio demographic and community are sectors vulnerable to heat related health effects.
I am convinced what Ramhstorf and O’Neill have to say on climate change and its projected effects. It is evident that greenhouse emissions affect negatively the ozone layer. The weakening ozone layer continues to cause an increase in global heat, expansion of the sea due to the melting ice, increase in mortality rate and more intense severe droughts.
Various bodies and people have taken the initiative of creating awareness to the public on effects of climate change .It is now a matter of life and death, we either adapt fast enough to prevent further damage to our environment or else we sit back comfortably and wait for a doomed tomorrow.