Climate Change – 10 Photos (04.12.15)
Having received so much global empathy recently it is perhaps fitting that Paris is presently hosting the 21st Climate Change Convention (COP21, 30 Nov-11 Dec 2015). The hope is that the outcome will bring about a new international agreement on how to keep global warming below 2°C.
Humanity’s wellbeing over future decades will depend on how effective any negotiations between the 195 State Parties to the United Nations are. The reality is, the world is heating up so much that the very future of life on earth is in question. 2015 is on target to be the hottest year on record, following on from 2014 – which had already broken previous records.
Frightening figures: at the present rate of global emissions trends (2.2% a year between 2000 – 2010) the average global temperature rise by 2100 will be between 3.7°C – 4.8°C. In order to keep global warming below 2°C, greenhouse gas emissions need to drop by 40 – 70% by 2050, and back to zero by 2100.
The consequences of not addressing these figures are well explained in this COP21 video.
In this week’s blog I have chosen 10 photos to highlight climate change, all of which were taken since the longer-term 2007 Bali Action Plan was agreed. While I, like most people, am in the hands of scientists and politicians for direction, I do feel that working in the travel industry we are perhaps more able to notice the reality of climate change. Our destinations noticeably change if not annually, then certainly from one decade to the next. The Arctic is warming faster than any other destination and light-pollution dominates previously untouched wilderness areas. Furthermore, this year relentless forest fires have had a major effect on regions of South East Asia and industrial pollution continues to dominate cities from Buenos Aires and Brussels to Bombay and Beijing.
Although I too read that the build up in Carbon dioxide (CO2), Methane (CH4), Nitrous Oxide (N20), Fluorinated gases (PFC+HFC+SF6) and Nitrogen trifluoride (NF3) is potentially cataclysmic, what appears more real is the direct rise in sea levels, crop failures and health risks. Disease, drought, extreme weather and refugee movement is also already all too evident.
Climate change has already begun to directly impact on our lives and livelihoods. How best we adapt to further changes, bringing a warmer, more fragile, violent and volatile 21st century, depends on the outcome of Paris COP21.
At the age of 53 I am already aware how many of our Nomadic Thoughts travel destinations have changed over the decades. Looking forward I am only just beginning to grasp what the impact of rising temperatures will be on so many of my favourite places.
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