Death Toll Increases With The Monsoon Rains: Global Warming


It is the beginning of September, and instead of witnessing retreat of the monsoon rains, these past few days have seen an outburst of the clouds as the Indian Subcontinent is finally experiencing the monsoon of this season.

It has been pouring cats and dogs with catastrophic repercussion. In a report by The Hindu, the rain of these past few days has left 40 people dead in Pakistan. Another report by the Economic Times holds 65 to have been killed in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir due to flood caused by the incessant monsoon rains.

Certainly this sudden change in climate condition shows the growing impact of global warming. Last year, the plains in India experienced a very short winter. While in the previous years, winter made its way by the beginning or mid of November, last year winter lasted for hardly two whole months. By the mid of February we had already started packing our winter clothes that we had only taken out towards the end of December.

Uneven rainfall, acute weather conditions with extremely hot summers and severe winters, rising sea levels, melting of the ice caps, are all forming great concern these days. These are now adversely affecting agriculture, energy and other important industries. This year, the Bharatiya Janata Party government, soon after taking to the centre was warned of drought to follow as a result of scanty rainfall. The country even saw rise in prices as a result of the uneven rainfall this monsoon.

Climate change is growing to become an important concern and many have raised the issue whether to call the changing climate condition a global security threat. Security threats are those issues that result in chaos and conflict. Now, to call climate change global a security threat may seem a little too edgy on the face of it. But climate change comes with a great deal of national and global threat as it carries with it various spill-over effects.

Extreme climate conditions have led many to leave homes and move to places with less danger. There are now exclusive climate refugees, who take refuge as a result of, or to avoid damages caused by severe weather conditions. Citizens of countries like Maldives and  Bangladesh, who have been under the threat of rising levels of the sea for quite some time now have started purchasing lands in different countries, or different states within the country that is farther away from the sea, so as to avoid sudden risks of losing livelihood later on. Climate change-caused migration is one of the spill-over effects of global warming. Excessive migration can cause tension in the global community and thus, may result in conflict between states. Climate change today, therefore has emerged as a global security threat.

There are surely ways in which every citizen can contribute to reduce this threat. For instance, scattering plastic wrappers and bags is very harmful for the environment; certainly that can be avoided. Excessive use of air conditioners has led to rise in temperatures. This has adversely contributed to melting of snow caps, thus leading to rise in sea levels, which in turn has caused global warming.

Climate change is a result of  a vicious circle; on the surface, we may seem to be unaffected by it. But climate change is as much a threat for you and me, as it is for someone living in one of the islands in Maldives, or even to the government.

Pallavi Sharma

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