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World Climate Day – 8 December 2021

Contemporary climate change includes both the global warming caused by humans, and its impacts on Earth’s weather patterns. There have been previous periods of climate change, but the current changes are more rapid than any known events in Earth’s history.

The main cause is the emission of greenhouse gases, mostly carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane. Burning fossil fuels for energy use creates most of these emissions. Agriculture, steel making, cement production, and forest loss are additional sources. Temperature rise is also affected by climate feedbacks such as the loss of sunlight-reflecting snow cover, and the release of carbon dioxide from drought-stricken forests. Collectively, these amplify global warming.

On land, temperatures have risen about twice as fast as the global average. Deserts are expanding, while heat waves and wildfires are becoming more common. Increased warming in the Arctic has contributed to melting permafrostglacial retreat and sea ice loss. Higher temperatures are also causing more intense storms and other weather extremes. In places such as coral reefs, mountains, and the Arctic, many species are forced to relocate or become extinct, as their environment changes. 

Climate change threatens people with food and water scarcity, increased flooding, extreme heat, more disease, and economic loss. It can also drive human migration The World Health Organization calls climate change the greatest threat to global health in the 21st century. Even if efforts to minimise future warming are successful, some effects will continue for centuries. These include sea level rise, and warmer, more acidic oceans.

 

Source: Text: en.wikipedia.org  Image: Utility Magazine

World Water Day – 22 March

Water is an essential building block of life. It is more than just essential to quench thirst or protect health; water is vital for creating jobs and supporting economic, social, and human development.

Today, there are over 663 million people living without a safe water supply close to home, spending countless hours queuing or trekking to distant sources, and coping with the health impacts of using contaminated water.

2018 Theme: Nature for Water
This year’s theme explores how we can use nature to overcome the water challenges of the 21st century.

Environmental damage, together with climate change, is driving the water-related crises we see around the world. Floods, drought and water pollution are all made worse by degraded vegetation, soil, rivers and lakes.

When we neglect our ecosystems, we make it harder to provide everyone with the water we need to survive and thrive.

Nature-based solutions have the potential to solve many of our water challenges. We need to do so much more with ‘green’ infrastructure and harmonize it with ‘grey’ infrastructure wherever possible. Planting new forests, reconnecting rivers to floodplains, and restoring wetlands will rebalance the water cycle and improve human health and livelihoods.

Sustainable Development Goal 6 – ensuring availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all by 2030 – includes a target to halve the proportion of untreated wastewater and increase water recycling and safe reuse.

Source: Text & Image: UN