While climate change is a hot topic and everyone talks about it all the time, most of them are ignorant about specific terms related to it. We have listed out a few terms that you could bring up in a conversation about climate change to sound smart.
It includes activities like mass extinction, biological loss, deforestation, habitat destruction etc. Anthropogenic activity is one of the main reasons behind climate change leading to increasing global temperatures, rising sea levels, changing precipitation, and expansion of deserts. Many countries have participated in United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change whose objective is to prevent dangerous anthropogenic climate change.
‘Heat Island’ is a phenomenon found in urban areas due to urbanisation and it is caused due to human activities. It was introduced by Luke Howard. Activities like cutting of trees for making buildings, materials used for making roads, etc. cause an increase in temperature making the area warm which in turn contributes to global warming.
Tipping point in climatology is that point when global climatic changes are irreversible.
For e.g., warming of earth will lead to melting of ice caps and at some level of temperature rise, the melting of the entire ice sheet will become unstoppable leading to loss of lives and property.
According to research, the Arctic Sea ice has already passed the tipping point in 2013.
Sequestration is the process of removal of carbon from the atmosphere and storing it in the terrestrial and marine reservoirs. It is also called carbon dioxide removal. This process includes afforestation, reforestation, improved forestry and agricultural activities. It is important because the rate at which we emit carbon in the atmosphere is contributing to global warming at the same rate. Climate change is one of the serious challenges which can be combated by sequestration.
The idea of Polar City was introduced by James Lovelock, a scientist. It proposed sustainable polar retreat designed to house human beings in the future when global warming will create destruction. Dan Bloom, a journalist who is living in Taiwan, believes that we can safeguard humanity by building Polar cities in Polar Regions. Countries like Antarctica, New Zealand, Tasmania have already started building it.
Nowcasting is a technique in which the weather conditions can be predicted for the immediate future. In this, the current weather is mapped and an estimate is made by calculating the speed and direction of the winds to forecast the weather a short time ahead. Nowcasting contributes in reduction of injuries due to weather hazards. Nowcasting depends on the area of built-up space, drainage and land-use in general. In India, we have The Indian Meteorological Department who is responsible for nowcasting and so they monitors weather 24*7.
Maladaptation is the adaptation of activities which result in more harm than good. It’s one of the most trending topics in climate change. Long term infrastructural projects that are undertaken without keeping in mind climate change and even developmental projects that do not take into account climatic challenges are the main causes of maladaptation. It is difficult to identify maladaptation in the early stages. If people do not start taking action against these harmful activities, the doomsday is not so far away.
Sea walls are embankments that are usually built across the shore to control the encroachment or erosion of land by seawater and to protect human habitation from tsunamis. The rise of sea level is one of the major issues with sea walls because it raises the normal water level and also the height of the wave.
For e.g. The tsunami that hit Pondicherry on 26 December 2004, saw less casualties of fishermen who lived near the sea wall made by French Colonialists in 1735.
Now that you’ve been familiarised with these terms, next time you’re having a conversation about climate change, you know exactly what to say.