How is Climate Change amidst the Pandemic?

Pandemic Dec 14, 2020

Climate change before the pandemic :-

  • Climate change is concern with the global warming generated by human emissions like the greenhouse gases, carbon, carbon monoxide and the resulting large-scale changes in weather patterns. Though there have been previous times of climatic change but from the mid-20th century the rate of human impact on Earth's climate system and its global scale has grown tremendously.
  • Over the last few decades, environmental degradation has been at its peak point. All predictions from scientists in the past about melting of ice, sea-level rise, more intense heat waves, heavy precipitation, severe droughts, acid rains, waste disposal, ozone layer depletion came to be true. Every river was drowning with chunks of plastic and polluting industrial effluents from all over the world. Even arctic circles were no exception to plastic pollution.
  • Before this COVID-19 pandemic of 2020, carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide were increasing by about 1% per year over the previous decade. The production of renewable energy was increasing rapidly amid decreasing prices, but much of the renewable energy was being exploited alongside fossil energy and did not replace it, while emissions from transportation were rising.
  • The high level of presence of smog in the air of Delhi is no news to us. The AQI (Air Quality Index) of Delhi was 402, which falls within the severe category. All of these crises led to increasing health risks, loss of biodiversity, water crises, acidified water resources, rise in temperature, untimely deaths, and many other perplex. Air pollution in India is estimated to kill about 2 million people every year and it is the fifth largest killer in India.

Positive aspect of the pandemic for nature :-

  • But amidst all this mess, there emerged coronavirus pandemic serving as a vaccine when the man-like virus was rigorously disrupting mother nature. No doubt that this pandemic had severe impacts on human life, but it is relentlessly working as a savior for our mother nature.
  • Government policies which were implemented during the lockdown have severely altered patterns of energy consumtion and it's demand around the world. Around the globe, many international borders were closed and populations were interned to their homes, which decreased transport and changed consumption patterns. Due to reduction in road transportation, the emission of carbon and nitrogen oxides and other greenhouse gases dropped by 20% to 40% at global stage.
  • A report said that during the lockdown, pollution in the Ganga river is reduced by 25-30%. Even the road fatalities had decreased by 8% around the globe. People are breathing cleaner air. Decreased use in public and private transportation has led to a significant fall in the levels of noise pollution.
  • Pollution levels in Delhi have come down by around 70% during the starting period of the lockdown due to no industrial exercise, lessened traffic, and a halt on construction sites. Wildlife got a chance to reclaim their dominance over their land and for sure enjoyed watching caged humans.

Did the situation really changed due to pandemic ?

  • Researchers say that this dramatic drop in environmental pollution won't have any considerable impact on global warming. Due to starting of industrial areas, transport the situation of global warming will be same as it was before.
  • As well as there was carelessness in the unprecedented use of disposable face masks, a large quantity of masks were discarded in the environment, alongside with worldwide burden of plastic waste. Adding to this, During this pandemic, demand of plastic for medical purposes has increased substantially in some countries.
  • During this pandemic, the important factor was the conditions produced due to climate change which were favorable to spread some of the infectious diseases like Lyme diseases, some water born diseases like Vibrio parahaemolyticus which causes vomiting and diarrhea in some patients also and mosquito-born diseases such as malaria and dengue fever.

Preventions, Measures to balance the climate change :-

  • Despite all this, the COVID-19 pandemic provided an opportunity to develop a better path forward for the future generation. The global fallout from COVID-19 taught us the need to invest in preventive measures before a catastrophe strikes, whether it’s another virus, cyclone, global warming.
  • Some practices such as, during this lockdown, people starting cycling and walking, and even incentives were provided by US and UK governments to buy bicycles and reserved roadways for bicycles, even the regular vehicles can be replaced by electric ones.
  • Maintaining public and private hygiene should be prioritized over everything. These blue, clear skies and pure air are worth making special efforts. This pandemic acted as a silver lining on decades of dark clouds. These silver linings can be considered as a preview of the nature that all of us want to be a part of. However, our judgments will determine if these consequences are short-termed or long-lived.

This article has been written by Atharva Budrukkar for The Paradigm

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