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Human culture, climate change and developing countries


Climate change threatens the lives and future of millions of people in Bangladesh. — UNICEF

HUMAN culture largely depends on the climate while the advancement of human civilization also influences the characteristics of the climate. This development has been going on since time immemorial. Most climate studies have revealed that before the pre-industrial era the process of heating or cooling of the earth had long been organized at a very slow pace. As a result, decades passed before climate-centric changes in human civilization became visible. This is why climate awareness has not been developed as a primarily relevant issue in our socio-economic decision-making process. But, in recent decades, the adverse effects of climate change have become a source of concern for researchers. Scientists consider global warming to be one of the main determinants of recent climate change.

Research from the University of Massachusetts and the University of Arizona reveals that over the past millennium, global temperatures have fallen an average of 0.02 degrees Celsius per century. Conversely, the World Meteorological Organization’s “Global Climate Statement 2021” shows that the average temperature in 2020 was about 1.1 degrees Celsius higher than the average temperature between 1850 and 1900. Due to the use widespread use of fossil fuels in the post-industrial mechanical civilization, the growth of greenhouse gases has accelerated in the atmosphere. Thus, the internal temperature of the earth increases rapidly. The “Global Climate Statement-2020” supports the assertion of these scientists. The report shows that the average amount of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere in 2020 was 413 ppm, i.e. out of every million particles in the atmosphere, 413 particles are carbon, or about 150 % of the pre-industrial period. The report sees global deworming as the result of aggressive human activities. A report by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, titled “Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis”, also identifies human activities as one of the scientifically established causes of ongoing global warming. In this context, world leaders present at the Glasgow Climate Conference recognized the responsibility of human actions in the rapid global warming and stressed the restructuring of human culture and the philosophy of development, because the Global warming is already creating threats to ecosystems. The inevitable result of warming is the melting of the Greenland, Antarctic and Himalayan ice caps leading to rising sea levels.

The most alarming news about climate change comes from a Nature Geoscience research paper, published in March 2018. The research results provide strong evidence that currents in the North Atlantic are slowing down and the meridian circulation reversing Atlantic has been in the weakest position for a millennium or more. The Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation circulates water in the world’s oceans through a warm, salty current to the north and a colder, deeper current to the south, respectively. Therefore, the meridional overturning circulation of the Atlantic redistributes heat around the world. Another research from the Potsdam Institute warned that if the meridional overturning circulation of the Atlantic continues to change along the current trend, the speed of ocean currents could be reduced by 34-45% by 2100. The British Antarctic Survey Academy has described the consequence of the slowing Atlantic Overturning Meridional Circulation as a sign of rising temperatures and disruption of the global global water outflow process.

In view of the results of climate studies, it is easy to realize the importance of immediate collective action to prevent global warming. In this context, a latest report published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change on February 28, 2022 indicates that the risk of climate change is increasing so rapidly that it will soon exceed the capacities of nature and man. . Professor

Edward R Carr, co-author of the report, said: “If we can be active now, we will have many options. But after 10 years, the number of options will be much lower. And I don’t know what will happen after 30 years.

Industrialized countries and major GHG emitters such as China, the United States and Germany can play an effective role in tackling this complex problem by reducing GHG emissions in line with their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). ). But the pace of implementation of their CDNs is too disappointing. On the other hand, the return of the United States to the Paris Agreement via COP-26 has added a new dimension to the decarbonization process. However, in the context of the current situation, it is difficult to hope that humanity will be able to achieve the desired goal of limiting global warming to 2 degrees Celsius by 2100 compared to pre-industrial times. . Therefore, the unwanted process of global warming and sea level rise will continue and this is the new normal for our planet.

In this reality, 55 countries, including Bangladesh, are exposed to extreme climate risk, despite these countries emitting only 5% of the world’s total greenhouse gases. The “Global Climate Risk Index-2021” reveals that among South Asian countries, the Maldives, India, Myanmar, Afghanistan and Bangladesh are the most climate-vulnerable countries. Bangladesh ranks seventh and fourth respectively in terms of climate risk and economic damage due to global warming. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change fears that the sea level will rise by up to 1 meter by 2050. As a result, around 16% of Bangladesh’s land will be submerged in the sea. In addition, the Scientific Committee for Antarctic Research has warned that due to sea level rise, a third of Bangladesh and all of the Maldives will likely be submerged in the sea by 2100. As a result, millions of people will be displaced and climate refugee pressure will increase in upstream towns. Likewise, the intensity of natural disasters will increase.

Considering the global situation, developing countries should pay more attention to adaptation than to mitigation. In this regard, the United Nations Environment Program’s Adaptation Gap Report-2016 found that increasing impacts of climate change will lead to increased global adaptation costs. By 2030, it is estimated that these costs will amount to between 140 and 300 billion dollars per year. So, in line with the Glasgow Climate Conference decision document, developed countries should urgently provide $100 billion a year and scale up other support to developing countries to scale up their climate-friendly technology efforts. Potential climate risks must be taken into account scientifically in all kinds of planning, whether private or public. States should launch effective awareness programs so that people can realize the relevance of climate change to their socio-economic and even personal lives. It is also essential to modernize the educational system according to the demand of the national and international market to ensure maximum use of young people in the context of rapid global warming and the coming technological revolution. Bangladesh has already enacted climate friendly laws. The implementation and reach of these laws need to be further strengthened.

Dr. Mohammed Fazlur Rahman Khan is Assistant Professor of Accountancy at Mymensingh Government College.