Hello, fellow blog viewers! This week I have posted a something a little different from usual but enjoy reading it.
In the climate change and solutions report that follow, I will describe and explain how the disruption of normal weather patterns has an impact on the Maldives and the Himalayas and the geography of them. It will also include the problems and solutions they will have to face and carry out.
Climate change is a significant and lasting change in the statistical distribution of weather patterns over periods ranging from decades to millions of years. These effects such as, variations in solar radiation received by Earth, plate tectonics and volcanic eruptions, and human-induced alterations of the natural world; are currently causing global warming, and “climate change” is often used to describe human-specific impacts.In the last few decades, climate change has been taken more seriously as scientists have discovered that our planet is gradually warming up, which is referred as ‘global warming’. Climate change can be observed all over the world right now, whether it is on the news or online . For example the polar ice caps melting, more devastating droughts and wildfires. The main concerning consequence from this, is sea levels rising, it will lead to major adverse impacts on people and wildlife.
Maldives,officially the Republic of the Maldives are an island nation situated in South Asia and found in the Indian Ocean. As shown in the map it lies off the Indian sub-continent, south-southwest of India. It consists of approximately 1,190 coral islands, grouped in a double chain of 26 atolls. With the beautiful scenery and tropical climate it has to offer, it is a very popular destination for tourists. Due to this the economy relies mostly on tourism but it will not be like for ever for the nation now face a number of climate change issues. The Maldives has no hills, but some islands have dunes which can reach 2.4 meters (8 feet) above sea level, making the country vulnerable to a rise in sea levels associated with global warming. It is estimated that if the current rate of rising levels proceeds, the nation will be concealed by water and therefore uninhabitable in a hundred years time. If this does happen no money will come from tourists and a third of the nation’s income will be lost.
The president Mohamed Nasheed aims to turn the Maldives into an entirely carbon neutral nation by 2020. He plans to only use sustainable energy ie. wind and solar energy to achieve this aim. In 2009 politicians of the Indian Ocean gathered together for a cabinet meeting underwater. The purpose of it was for the rest of the world to acknowledge the importance of climate change towards the Maldives. Sea levels rise also lead to quicker coastal erosion and the Maldives is losing more land everyday. “There is a natural process, or erosion, going on,” vice president Dr Waheed says. “But that process is being worsened by changing global weather patterns.” The islands are surrounded with coral to slow down the erosion process however they are getting destroyed and this results in an unprotected coasts. A way to protect the coast and which is getting used is dredging sand from a lagoon to build temporary defences. This acts as a natural barrier to slow down waves.
The Himalayas, also Himalaya,is located in Asia separating the plains of the Indian subcontinent from the Tibetan Plateau. As shown on the map the Himalayas pass through five countries: Bhutan, India, Nepal, China, and Pakistan. The Himalayas obtain the world’s tallest mountains, towering more than five miles above sea level. Even as this height, largely contrary to the Maldives it is still effected by climate change. As the Himalayas is a mountain range, so the higher up you go the colder it is, the mountain tops are always caped with snow. There’s bad news for glaciers at the eastern end of the Himalayas: Even if temperatures in the region remain steady for decades, the glaciers of the nation of Bhutan will continue to melt, new research suggests.
All told, Bhutan’s glaciers will shrink by about 10 percent and lose about 30 percent of their meltwater even if current temperatures hold over the next few decades, the study found. And if regional temperatures rise just 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit (1 degree Celsius), the glaciers’ area could decrease by 25 percent and meltwater could drop off by 65 percent.The reason is the lag time between changes in the climate and a glacier’s response to them, the study researchers say. For the glaciers studied, approximately nine percent of the area of ice that was present in the early 1970s had disappeared by the early 2000s. When the glacier melts the water fills up the lakes but when it happens too fast the lakes overflow and flood the neighbouring settlements. It could also trigger landslide and towns could be reduced to rubble. We can reduce our CO2 emissions from our to slow down the melting of the glaciers on the other side of the world.
The two places I have mentioned might have very different geography, cultures and people, however they do have one thing in common and that is they are effected quite largely by climate change and especially global warming. It affects them in all sorts of ways from rising sea levels to glaciers melting and if it is not caused by human intervening with nature it is contributing to the speeding of the natural cycles. Every time you forget to turn off a light, it may not make a difference to your life but it will some how go towards the change of other people’s lives.
Author – Jiangmin Hou
Jiangmin is a 5th year high school student currently studying five STEM subjects at Scottish Higher level-Mathematics, Physics, Biology, Computer Science and Chemistry. She is interested in pursuing a degree in Medicine after completion of Secondary Education.