Earth Day today to stress on the impact of this phenomenon on population

Earth Day is celebrated every year on 22{+n}{+d}April, since 1970, to strengthen the collective fight against man’s exploitive relationship with the planet. The theme of the current year 2013 is the face of climate change due to rising of air temperature, because of the need to highlight the impact of climate change on individuals around the world. Generally, many people think climate change is a remote problem, but the fact is that it is already impacting all over the world.

A National Mineral Award winner, Prof. Nandipati Subba Rao, Andhra University Department of Geology explains that the main reason for increase in air temperature especially during summer is caused due to the sun rays reaching the earth’s equator. This is a natural phenomenon. Another cause for increase in air temperature is trees shedding leaves due to water scarcity. As a result, the trees are unable to absorb the excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Burning of fossil fuels and deforestation are the two main activities contributing to increasing air temperature.

Average temperature of the earth’ atmosphere and oceans started rising since the late 19{+t}{+h}century, Prof Subba Rao said. Since the early 20th century, earth’s average surface temperature has increased by about 0.8 C, with about two-thirds of the increase occurring since 1980 due to increase of greenhouse gases and activities like burning of fossil fuels and deforestation.

Urbanisation

While development is essential, it should not be at the cost of human life, he said and pointed out that the indiscriminate urbanisation and industrialisation has resulted in the city temperatures crossing 40 degrees in summer. Three decades ago the summer temperatures never crossed 30 degrees, he added.

Higher the density of trees, the greater is the release of oxygen by trees consuming the carbon dioxide through the process of photosynthesis. This controls the air temperature, he said calling upon everyone to ensure one-third of the area is covered with greenery. Since greenery is essential to absorb atmospheric carbon dioxide, he suggests that we select evergreen trees like coconut, asoka, mango, neem, almond, tulip and black-plum, among others rather than by deciduous trees like kanugu, teak, burugu and moduga.

If we protect earth, it can save us from harm, that’s why; we celebrate the Earth Day every year to remember our role in protection of our planet, the professor said.