Countries on the verge of extinction as a result of climate change
Some countries face a dismal future, whether as a result of increasing sea levels or droughts.
It’s not going to need a massive asteroid or a zombie apocalypse. Climate change and global warming are putting certain countries at risk of extinction. The threat is even greater for the people of dozens of island nations who have been suffering for decades as a result of increasing sea levels.
“We are sinking, but so is the rest of the world,” Tuvalu’s Minister of Justice, Communications, and Foreign Affairs, Simon Kofe, said last November during the COP26 climate summit. The politician delivered his video message while standing in knee-deep water on ground that had been dry for years.
Tuvalu, a low-lying island nation with a population of nearly 12,000 people, is particularly vulnerable to climate change and natural disasters, and is already experiencing stronger cyclones, droughts, drinking water shortages, and the disappearance of vital coral reefs as a result of rising ocean temperatures.
Kiribati, Vanuatu, Tuvalu, Solomon Islands, Samoa, Nauru, Tonga, Fiji, Maldives, and Marshall Islands are among the most affected island nations, and have been asking for real climate action at the global level for more than 30 years. The Small Island Developing States (SIDS) group consists of 52 countries, the same countries who said at COP26 that they are doomed to perish due to global warming.
Tonga, which had an underwater volcanic eruption and a tsunami this weekend, is one of the countries most vulnerable to climate change. Although it was a natural occurrence in that case, the oceanic nation is also calling for further climate action.
According to the United Nations, Tonga is located in the Pacific, one of the world’s most disaster-prone regions, with natural hazards such as cyclones, droughts (especially El Nio), and volcanic eruptions.
After a landmark UN report released last November arguing that global warming could render areas of the world uninhabitable, the claims have become louder.
Heat waves, torrential rains, and droughts will become more common and extreme, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and a key temperature limit will be broken in less than a decade.
“We are paying with our lives for the carbon that someone else emitted,” said Mohamed Nasheed, the former president of the Maldives, the world’s lowest-lying country, which is on the “edge of extinction,” according to the politician.
More than 80% of the coral islands in this archipelago in South Asia are under 30 centimeters above sea level, making it extremely vulnerable to even little temperature changes. Tens of thousands of people have fled to Hulhumalé, a purpose-built artificial island about 2 meters above sea level, to escape the country’s uncertain future.
Piers Forster, a climate scientist at the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom and one of the report’s co-authors, warns that sea levels are rising faster than ever before. “For centuries, this will be a menace to these countries. However, if we take action to combat global warming, the livelihoods of at least 10 million people living in low-lying coastal areas will be safeguarded “El Comercio is the source of his information.
CASE OF PERUVIAN
However, climate change is not just a problem in these countries. As the situation worsens, certain parts of the world are becoming increasingly vulnerable.
This is the case in Bangladesh, where floods and cyclones are a constant hazard; in the United Arab Emirates, where overheating is a problem; and in Japan, where extreme weather events are a constant menace.
“Without going so far as to say that all countries are on the verge of extinction, climate change poses a serious threat to all of them in various ways. Peru, for example, is under threat from all sides. We have the Amazon, the coast, and the glaciers, all of which pose a serious threat “This publication quotes Ken Takahashi, a climate scientist and senior researcher at Peru’s Geophysical Institute.
He notes that the rise in sea level is one of the direct results of climate change, but there are also more subtle changes, such as those related to rainfall, which tends to be highly variable geographically, that is, they do not behave uniformly across the globe.
“There are places of heavy rain and areas of dryness. Depending on where we are in Peru, we can experience polar opposites. In the case of our country, numerical models predict an increase in excessive rainfall, particularly along the coast, during El Nio episodes in the future. According to various studies, the frequency of extreme El Nio events would rise as a result of global warming and climate change “, Takahashi claims.
Heat waves, according to the expert, are normally more extreme in the mid-high latitudes, and incidents in the warm zones will become more often and strong as global warming continues.
“This was an unavoidable consequence of global warming. These effects have already been evident in various places of the world, such as extreme heat waves that would have been extremely rare if global warming had not occurred. It will also happen in Peru as a result of future warming, particularly because our country is unprepared for extreme temperatures, both high and low in reality. It will become increasingly difficult to cope with these severe temperatures as the world warms “He issues a warning.
WHAT STILL NEEDS TO BE DONE?
Despite the pessimistic predictions, experts agree that the risks may be mitigated by combating climate change, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and prioritizing the implementation of measures to minimize the current consequences and prepare for future ones.
We can even take action in response to the threat posed to island nations. “If we accomplish zero emissions and restrict warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius rather than 2 degrees, we can limit and delay the rise to sustainable levels. If we do so, millions of individuals will be protected over the next decade “According to Forster,
“It is always possible to do something. Some people believe that global warming will result in irrevocable effects. It’s possible, but it’s quite unlikely. We want to avoid getting to that position as much as possible. Anything we do now to save us from reaching that level would be beneficial “Takahashi explains.
He emphasizes that there are primarily two types of climate change measures that we may do. One is mitigation, which in this situation is lowering greenhouse gas emissions and necessitates the participation of all governments. The other sort of action is adaptation, which is admitting that if climate change is already occurring, the goal must be to act in such a way that it has a minimal impact on us.
“Every year, extreme climate phenomena such as El Nio, droughts, and other natural disasters strike Peru. In that sense, risk and catastrophe management must be advocated more aggressively, because the events that have already struck us will occur more frequently and possibly with more severity. But, if we aren’t prepared to deal with what is currently affecting us, we will be much less prepared to deal with what is yet to come. Prevention is the key “He comes to a conclusion.
Article Author Gerluxe
Image: Nytimes/John Pulu/Agence France-Presse Getty Images