Worrying State of Our World : 2022 Heat Wave in India and Pakistan

People using umbrellas outside during the heatwave in Kolkata
People using umbrellas outside during the heatwave in Kolkata
People using umbrellas outside during the heatwave in Kolkata

Our Earth is suffering. Two weeks ago the UN’s World Meteorological Organization published their annual report “The WMO State of the Global Climate in 2021” and stated that for the past 7 years was the warmest temperature on record. “For as long as we continue to emit greenhouse gasses, temperatures will continue to rise, sea ice and glaciers will continue to melt, sea level will continue to rise and our weather will become more extreme.” Said Prof. Petteri Taalas, secretary-general of WMO. The annual report also stated that the major factor of climate change since the mid-twentieth century is the increasing greenhouse gasses within the atmosphere generated from human activities mainly from transportation, electricity, and industry. 

  • 2022 Heatwaves in India and Pakistan

“The extreme heat in India and Pakistan is consistent with what we expect in a changing climate. Heat waves are more frequent and more intense and starting earlier than in the past.” Said Prof. Petteri Taalas, responding to the relentless heat waves occurring in Pakistan and India in the last three months. The 2022 heatwave is estimated to have caused at least 90 deaths across India and Pakistan based on media reports and resulting in millions of dollars in economic losses. South Asia is not a stranger to heat waves that usually occur from May to June. But this heatwave started early, in the beginning of March and occurred for a longer period with a constant soaring heat and spread out largely to more areas. In mid of May, Delhi (India) reached a temperature of 490C, the highest temperature in twelve years and Jacobabad (Pakistan) has reached 51 degree Celsius, one of the highest temperatures ever recorded. Prior in 2017, Pakistan has recorded the world’s fourth most highest temperature of 53.70C

This year’s scorching temperatures affected wheat harvests in India, the government banned export of wheat due to a large amount of damaged crops. This could also be a global concern considering lack of supply as a result of the Ukrainian War. Cases of birds falling from the sky are common during summer in India, but this year it has increased over 30 percent according to Dr. Khyati Kapadia, a veterinarian at Jivdaya Charitable trust, a rehabilitation centre for animals in Ahmedabad, India. Around mid of May they receive up to 75 falling birds a day. Many people in Pir-Koh, Central Pakistan, were infected by Cholera as a result of drinking dirty water from a rusted and contaminated pipeline due to the lack of rainfall this year causing many ponds to dry and limit the access to clean drinking water. Since April 17th, 2000 people have been infected and 6 people have died.  

  • Climate Risk and Early Warning systems (CREW)

Regarding the recent state of extreme climate change, WMO is working on a new climate action programme called Climate Risk and Early Warning systems (CREW) to help vulnerable countries to adapt, anticipate, and recover from the loss or damage. “Today I announce that the United Nation will spearhead new action to ensure every person on Earth is protected by early warning systems within five years.” Said Antonio Gutteres, secretary-general of the United Nation, in a video message to the World Meteorological Day Ceremony 2022. 

Antonio Gutteres in a video message to the World Meteorogical Day Ceremony 2022
Antonio Gutteres in a video message to the World Meteorogical Day Ceremony 2022
  • What can WE do?
  1. Electrical efficiency 

We still rely heavily on fossil fuels for our energy including coal, crude oil, and natural gas. Conversion from burning coal to electrical energy is still the largest contributor of our country’s power plants. Worldwide, electricity  use is responsible for at least a quarter of greenhouse gas emission. According to data from Statista in 2020, Indonesia ranks 13th in the world’s primary energy consumption. From our home, we can take simple steps to help this situation by reducing our use of electricity in daily life, such as turning off electrical devices that we don’t use at the moment or changing incandescent lamps with LED lamps that use less electricity.

  1. Transport Choices

According to UCAR, in 2020 burning fossil fuels for transportation adds up to 14% of global greenhouse gas emissions. We can help reduce emissions by shifting to alternative transportation with no gasoline involved such as bicycles, electric cars, or just simply walking for short-distance destinations. Taking public transportations could also reduce the amount of gas emissions.

  1. Plant-rich Diet

Another statement from UCAR in 2020, about a fifth of global carbon emissions come from raising cattle for meat. Not only because of methanes produced by the cattle, farms are responsible for deforestation as they’re cutting forests to grow cash crops. As global demand for meat keeps increasing, there will be more forests destroyed. The further we adapt to a plant-rich diet, the bigger the chance for our nature to thrive. 

Every decision that we make now defines the lives of billions of species. Take action now and be a part of the solution.

Penulis : Clara Shinta

Reporter : Clara Shinta

Editor : Fareez Eldacca

Foto : CNBC, Youtube

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