For the past couple of decades, it has become common to read about huge losses of crop yield due to untimely heavy rains or severe droughts. For instance, India lost 5.04 million hectares of crop area in 2021 due to extreme weather events such as hailstorms, flash floods, and storms.
Similarly, the intensity and duration of heat waves have continuously increased for the past decade or so. Even Siberia– a region known for its extremely cold weather, recorded a shocking surface temperature of 47.8 degrees Celsius.
These are just a few of the most common examples of extreme weather changes. In the coming years, we can expect even more unpredictable weather patterns that are changing how we live.
For the first time, the IPCC’s assessment report of 2021 included a chapter on weather extremes. The report, prepared by an international team of scientists, researchers, and experts, is important to manage international climate change negotiations.
The report confirms that climate change is causing more frequent and intense storms, wildfires, droughts, floods, heatwaves, and other extreme events. It also highlights the occurrence of multiple extremes in one area. For example, extreme temperature and precipitation in one particular area would disturb the entire surrounding ecosystem.
According to the latest scientific evidence, the report concludes that even small increases in global warming cause significant and extreme changes whose effects can be felt throughout the world.
Climate change due to human-related activities is the main cause of these shifting weather patterns. Climate change is changing the frequency of natural events like El Nio events, according to a study published in the journal PNAS.
An El Niño event is the natural warming in the Pacific Ocean that impacts weather patterns worldwide – but global warming is making these events even more intense, causing severe heat, flooding and droughts.
Out of many factors, global warming is the worst offender; it releases tonnes of carbon dioxide into the Earth’s atmosphere, resulting in an overall increase in temperature. This spike in temperatures results in climate disasters that are intense and unpredictable.
Thus, this unpredictability means that only weather forecasts will not be enough in upcoming times. The world is going to need impact-based forecasts that will warn citizens of what the weather can do – especially if livelihoods are going to be affected.
Aligning with the current requirements, Early Warning and Early Action are the themes of World Meteorological Day, celebrated on March 23 of every year. The WMO puts out different themes to raise awareness and inspire action every year.
Early Warning Systems (EWS) are adaptive measures for climate change that use integrated communication systems to warn communities of extreme incoming conditions. For example, Bangladesh is a highly cyclone-prone country. They have implemented numerous EWS, which has successfully decreased the number of fatalities over the years.
Other measures that can combat climate change include shifting from fossil fuels to other alternative fuels, restoring our natural resources, and choosing sustainable options wherever possible. Also, if we want to avoid the impacts of climate change, we must keep educating ourselves and spreading knowledge.
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