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Dr Mahfuzul Haque. Points for Discussion Weather and Climate Noticeable Changes: Global and Local Meaning of Climate Change Sources of GHGs Contribution.

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Presentation on theme: "Dr Mahfuzul Haque. Points for Discussion Weather and Climate Noticeable Changes: Global and Local Meaning of Climate Change Sources of GHGs Contribution."— Presentation transcript:

1 Dr Mahfuzul Haque

2 Points for Discussion Weather and Climate Noticeable Changes: Global and Local Meaning of Climate Change Sources of GHGs Contribution of GHGs Meaning of Development How Climate change is affecting Development and vice-versa Sustainable Development Way Out?

3 Weather and Climate Difference between Weather and Climate Weather is day to day forecast on temperature, rainfall, snowfall, wind direction, humidity, atmospheric movement etc. Climate is 30-year average of weather pattern in an area What changes are taking place in the Climate globally and locally in Bangladesh?

4 Noticeable Changes (Global) In last one decade, we noticed increased presence of natural disaster both in terms of intensity and frequency 2003 heat wave in Europe killed 35,000 people in France, Portugal, Italy and Netherlands We had the ten hottest years in last 14 years. 2010 has been the hottest year ever recorded with Pakistan logging 53.7 degree Celsius 2010 summer temperature in Russia exceeded by 7.8 degrees Celsius causing fire in the wheat fields forcing a ban on grain export

5 Noticeable Changes (Global) Two-thirds of US from Oklahoma to Chicago went under the grip of snow-storm and blizzards with 2-feet snow in January 2011 Of late, a number of hurricanes and tornados visited the globe Most catastrophic were Hurricane Jeanne in Florida (2004), Ivan also in Florida(2004), Catrina in New Orleans, (August 2005), Emily in Caribbean (2005), first ever hurricane in South Atlantic in 2004 and the list goes on (ref: An Inconvenient Truth) In 2004 alone, ten typhoons visited Japan

6 Noticeable Changes (Global) Unusual floods in Central Europe in Switzerland and Austria in August 2005 2010 unusual floods in Pakistan submerged 1/5 th of the country claiming 2000 lives Unusual floods in Queensland, Australia in December 2010, never heard of in last 40 years Ocean water is getting warmer too causing cyclonic storms as well as the glacier continues to melt Ice caps of many mountains are fast disappearing: Mt Kilimanjaro in Kenya; Columbia glacier in Alaska; Melting Himalayan glacier in Nepal etc are some examples

7 Noticeable Changes (Bangladesh) We are known to be a disaster-prone country: floods, cyclone, drought, tornado, tidal surges, earthquakes, landslides, river erosion and so on Recently, we saw them with increased ferocity and frequency We had bad floods in 1987, 1988, 1998, 2004, 2007 considering their severity and damages of human lives and properties 1998 flood was unprecedented as it continued to inundate 2/3 rd of Bangladesh for 2 months

8 Noticeable Changes (Bangladesh) Flash floods in the north-eastern Haors in March 2010 destroyed their lone crops. Flash floods are regularly visiting the haors for last few years 12 April 1970 cyclone and associated tidal bore killed 500,000 people 29 April 1991 cyclone and associated water surges killed 140,000 people Two cyclonic storms Sidr in November 2007 and Aila in May 2009 in the coastal areas of Bangladesh were devastating

9 All these noticeable changes globally and locally convey a message that something is wrong somewhere

10 Climate Change: Meaning According to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) 1992, “Climate Change means a change of climate which is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere …….”(Article: 1) Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)’s latest report (2009) says Green House Gases (GHGs) are continuously increasing

11 Climate Change: Meaning What are the GHGs? GHGs are Carbon Dioxide-CO 2, Methane-CH 4 Nitrous oxide-N 2 O, SO2 in the atmosphere What do they do? Presence of GHGs in the atmosphere trap sun rays and heat that cause global warming

12 What happens? Frequency and intensity of natural disaster (floods, cyclone, tornado, drought) to increase Sea level rise to take place, permanently inundating the low-lying areas in the coast In temperate zone, winter will be shorter and warmer; in Summer zone, it would be longer and hotter Rainfall to be irregular, evaporation to increase causing floods and drought Spread of many vector-borne diseases

13 Sources of GHGs Carbon Dioxide (CO2), is produced by combustion of fossil fuels (coal, petrol, diesel, natural gas), land-use changes and deforestation Sulphur Dioxide (SO2) and NOx are also produced due to fossil fuel burning Methane (CH4) is produced also from burning of fossil fuels, rice agriculture, biomass burning, landfills and from fermentation process by ruminant cattle Chloroflurocarbon (CFCs) used in refrigerators and air conditioners are released to atmosphere during repair Nitrous Oxide (N2O) is produced due to microbial activity in the soil by chemical fertilizers containing nitrogen

14 Contribution of GHGs to GW (ref: Shine et al., 1990)

15 Message for us IPCC Report 2007 says that the damages to world’s ecology by global warming will be irreversible if CO2 emission is not reduced within next 10 years 16 th Conference of Parties (COP-16) of UNFCCC held in Cancun, Mexico in December 2010 urged cuts of CO2 emission so that global temperature will not rise over 2 degrees Celsius over pre-industrial level We are to curb CO2 to an admissible level in order to make this only habitable planet a livable one Meaning minimize use of fossil fuels and go for adaptation measures

16 Let us now discuss what do we mean by “Development”

17 Meaning of Development Development is intended to bring a positive change for human being and its surroundings Development is understood as a process aiming at poverty alleviation, improved standards of living and greater capacity for self-reliance and empowerment Development is followed by urbanization, fast communication, modernization, industrialization, changes in lifestyle and so on Development improves living standards and the quality of life

18 Meaning of Development Development also brings with it miseries, diseases, sickness and sadness Development brings with various social vices: greed, corruption and unethical competition Development breeds tension and frustration Development causes disaster, destruction, war and famine Families are broken and family bondage loosened with the Development

19 How Development is affecting the Climate? and How Climate Changes are affecting our Development?

20 How Dev affecting Climate? For development, modernization, fast communication, industrialization and rapid urbanization, fossil fuels are used causing emission of GHGs. They are:  Coal, diesel, furnace oil for electricity generation  Coal, biomass for brick kilns  Petrol, diesel, natural gas for running vehicles and cooking Deforestation and land-use changes increase CO2 Refrigerators, air conditioners emit CFCs Landfills emitting CH4

21 CC affecting Development We know by now that change in the climate increases both intensity and frequency of natural disasters: floods, cyclones, tidal surges, drought, heat wave, cold wave, melting of glacier etc All development infrastructures: roads, highways, towns and cities would be adversely affected by natural disaster Climate change causes sea level to rise. Low lying coastal areas will completely go under water creating displacement of people. We may call them “environmental refugees”

22 CC affecting Development Inundation will affect towns and cities, biodiversity and wildlife. Some island nations would completely disappear Melting of glaciers would give rise to not only sea level but also cyclonic storms due to formation of low pressure over heated water surface Climate change would give rise to many vector borne and water borne diseases like malaria, diarrhea, dengue, avian flue, birds flue, SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) etc

23 Question arises Is Development destructive?

24 What to Do? We badly need development to continue We are to ensure that food production is not threatened; communication is made faster; quality of human life is improved; employment is generated through industrialization and creation of new jobs; alleviation of poverty; and peoples’ increased access to health and hygiene etc We can not compromise with development We also need to minimize adverse impacts of development on the climate How to strike a balance between the two?

25 Sustainable Development We go for “Sustainable Development” What does it mean? “Sustainable Development is the development that meets the needs of the present without compromising with the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”. (ref: Our Common Future, WCED, 1987) Meaning Development to be allowed to continue in a sustainable manner

26 Way Out? Are we ready to go for some mitigation and adaptation measures for stabilizing GHGs? Mitigation measures are: Promotion of renewable energy (solar, hydro, biogas, wind, wave etc) Conversion of automobiles to CNG Use of coal for brick kilns: improved model for kilns Increased efficiency of fossil fuel burning Introduction of Environmental Management System (EMS) for domestic and industrial energy use

27 Way Out? Adaptation measures are: Agriculture : saline tolerant variety of crops; floating gardens; rain water harvest; crop diversification; canal re-excavation Habitat : Flood-proof homes; flood-proof drinking water and sanitation; cyclone shelters Promote 3 Rs (Reduce, Reuse and Recycle)

28 Way Out? We are to mainstream Climate Change into all sectoral Plans and Policies Adopt long and short term policy measures Develop a “Green Constituency” by making people aware of environmental issues and concerns An activated Local government will help ensure “effective environmental governance” A vibrant and active media (print and electronic) to play the role of an watchdog in climate crisis

29 Probable Questions What is meant by Climate Change? What are the effects of climate change on the environment? What do you mean by Green House Gases? What are their sources? How do they cause global warming? What do you mean by mitigation measures? What mitigation measures are needed to be adopted in Agriculture sector of Bangladesh? Is “development” destructive? How to continue with development programs without compromising with the environment? How to mainstream “climate change” in all sectoral policies and plans? Name some major plans.

30 Further Reading Rana, S.V.S., Essentials of Ecology and Environmental Science. New Delhi: Prentice-Hall of India, 2005. (pages: 384-427) The World Commission on Environment and Development, Our Common Future, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1987. Rahman. A., et al, Exploding the Population Myth, Consumption Versus Population: Which is the Climate Bomb? Dhaka: BCAS, July 1993. Text on United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)1992. Internet: Government of Bangladesh, Ministry of Environment and Forests, Department of Environment, Global Climate Change: Bangladesh Episode, 1997. Government of Bangladesh, Ministry of Environment and Forests, Department of Environment, Climate Change and Bangladesh, Climate Change Cell, Dhaka,2009.


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