“Climate change is perhaps the greatest threat faced by human society”
The orchard grower should not only rely on the quality of seeds to be planted. There are still several environmental factors to be considered for successful tree farming. Different tree species are suited to different climatic conditions that affect their growth and yield. The climatic conditions to which the trees are exposed are rainfall, sunlight, high and low temperature, humidity and wind. Among the mentioned conditions, the long light rain is the most suitable for tree crops because water slowly penetrates the soil that will keep it moist for a period of time.
"Climate" refers to the average, or typical, weather conditions observed over a long period of time for a given area. For instance, the climate of the tropical oceans is warm and humid, with occasional showers or thunderstorms, conditions which do not vary much throughout the year.
Climate change is defined as the change in weather patterns over a period of time wherein the time can be in number of years to decades and million years. The one word or phrase that the entire world is talking about everyday is “Climate Change” or “Global Warming”. Many countries in the way of economic development have given least importance to the environment surrounding them thereby causing ecological imbalance which has resulted in the change of weather patterns over a period of time.
Precipitation, evaporation, transpiration and collection are all terms that sound familiar. They are all part of the water cycle, a complex process that not only gives us water to drink, fish to eat, but also weather patterns that help grow our crops. The water cycle, also known as the hydrologic cycle or H2O cycle, describes the continuous movement of water on, above and below the surface of the Earth. Water can change states among liquid, vapor, and ice at various places in the water cycle.
The earth's climate is dynamic and always changing through a natural cycle. What the world is more worried about is that the changes that are occurring today have been speeded up because of man's activities. The causes of climate change can be divided into two categories - those that are due to natural causes and those that are created by man. There are a number of natural factors responsible for climate change. Some of the more prominent ones are continental drift, volcanoes, ocean currents, the earth's tilt, and comets and meteorites. List of human contribution in climate change is very long like industrialization, more use of fuel, less plantation and many more.
A region's climate is generated by the climate system, which has five components: Atmosphere hydrosphere, cry sphere, land surface, and biosphere. The climate of a location is affected by its latitude, terrain, and altitude, as well as nearby water bodies and their currents. Climates can be classified according to the average and the typical ranges of different variables, most commonly temperature and precipitation.
The climate of India defies easy generalization, comprising a wide range of weather conditions across a large geographic scale and varied topography. Analyzed according to the Kop pen system, India hosts six major climatic subtypes, ranging from desert in the west, to alpine tundra and glaciers in the north, to humid tropical regions supporting rain forests in the southwest and the island territories. Many regions have starkly different micro climates.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) designates four official seasons:
- Winter, occurring from December to early April. The year's coldest months are December and January, when temperatures average around 10–15°C (50–59°F) in the northwest; temperatures rise as one proceeds towards the equator, peaking around 20–25°C (68–77°F) in mainland India's southeast.
- Summer or pre-monsoon season, lasting from April to June (April to July in northwestern India). In western and southern regions, the hottest month is April; for northern regions, May is the hottest month. Temperatures average around 32–40°C (90–104°F) in most of the interior.
- Monsoon or rainy season, lasting from June to September. The season is dominated by the humid southwest summer monsoon, which slowly sweeps across the country beginning in late May or early June. Monsoon rains begin to recede from North India at the beginning of October. South India typically receives more rainfall.
- Post-monsoon season, lasting from October to December. In northwestern India, October and November are usually cloudless. Tamil Nadu receives most of its annual precipitation in the northeast monsoon season.
In India, climate change has caused tremendous changes in the weather patterns across different parts of the country. Extended summers, unpredicted rainfall are all some of the effects of climate change. If climate change is not seriously considered, the consequences will be irreparable. Climate change will affect the environment, agriculture, economy and social welfare of a particular region or country.
India's unique geography and geology strongly influence its climate; this is particularly true of the Himalayas in the north and the Thar Desert in the northwest. India has 'Tropical Monsoon' type of climate. The word monsoon has been derived from the Arabic word 'Mausim' which means seasonal reversal of the winds during the course of the year.
The future impacts of climate change, identified by the Government of India’s National Communications (NATCOM) in 2004 include:
•Decreased snow cover, affecting snow-fed and glacial systems such as the Ganges and Bramhaputra. 70% of the summer flow of the Ganges comes from melt water
•Erratic monsoon with serious effects on rain-fed agriculture, peninsular rivers, water and power supply
•Drop in wheat production by 4-5 million tones, with even a 1ºC rise in temperature
•Rising sea levels causing displacement along one of the most densely populated coastlines in the world, threatened freshwater sources and mangrove ecosystems
•Increased frequency and intensity of floods. Increased vulnerability of people in coastal, arid and semi-arid zones of the country
•Studies indicate that over 50% of India’s forests are likely to experience shift in forest types, adversely impacting associated biodiversity, regional climate dynamics as well as livelihoods based on forest products.
India is an agrarian country and is fully depend on weather conditions. Some of the research work going on regarding climate change and its impact in India has revealed shocking results. The annual monsoon season will lead to severe droughts and floods in various parts of India. As India depends on monsoon rains for agriculture, forestry and fisheries it has a strong influence for the water based ecosystems.
Average global temperature has risen by 0.8 degrees Celsius since the start of the industrial revolution. That may not sound like much, but the consequences are enormous. Its high time to adopt steps to save climate so as to save our planet.
•Save Energy at Home: You can save money and help the climate by reducing energy use in your home. Switching to energy-efficient compact fluorescent light bulbs, turning down your water heater to 115F, or buying a new, efficient front-loader are ways to save.
•Choose Green Electricity: Most electricity comes from the burning of fossil fuels like coal, oil and gas. In states where you can choose, choose electricity generated by wind and solar power.
•Help Create a Climate Friendly Workplace: Initiate a Green Group at work to promote recycling and energy efficiency. Make sure office equipment like photocopiers and computers are Energy Star compliant.
•Reduce Your Emission from Driving: Vehicles are among the worst sources of air pollution and greenhouse gases. The more you drive, the more you pollute. Try to use less fuel transport and make effort to use transport means that can be run by electric/gasoline hybrids
•Recycle: Recycling can help to save energy –like paper with a high post-consumer recycled content. Make sure you recycle newspapers, cardboard, glass, aluminum cans and plastics. Composting non-animal food waste for the garden helps return valuable nutrients to the soil.
•Use Consumer Power: You can make a big difference just by making informed choices about the products and services you buy. Give your trade to businesses that make an effort to protect the climate and stock climate-friendly products.
•Get Involved in Your Community: Give a talk, or invite a guest speaker to your local school, place of worship or library. Start a local initiative aimed at reducing the community’s impact on climate or gets the issue on the agenda for a town meeting discussion.
•Support Environmental Groups Working to Slow Global Warming: Many environmental non-profits are working to preventing a climate crisis. You can help by becoming a member, taking part in events like Earth Day or participating in letter-writing campaigns.
To sum up, Climate Change is the greatest threat facing humanity. It threatens to undo 50 years of our development work. Human activity including decades of technological development has damaged our planet. Widespread pollution and spiraling consumption of the earth’s mineral and biological reserves have put unprecedented stress on the environment. But just as human activity has caused the problem, so too can human activity find the solutions.
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