“Global warming has potential to render agriculture impossible”

The Union and State governments will have to take proactive initiatives to prevent the catastrophic effects of climate change , according to Sayeed Mohammed, coordinator, Progressive Youth Vellore.

He was speaking on ‘Climate change and its impact’ at a meeting organised by Progressive Youth Vellore, a forum for mobilising youth to react to social and environmental problems impacting on society and bring about changes through interactions with the government, at C. Abdul Hakeem College of Engineering and Technology in Melvisharam on Saturday.

Mr. Mohammed, who is a scientist working with the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development, said that global warming resulting from greenhouse effect and the resultant climate change had the potential to dry up water bodies and render agriculture and fishing impossible.

Industrial revolution

of 1760

Climate change being witnessed in developed and developing countries today was the result of the industrial revolution of 1760, leading to deforestation and pumping of carbon dioxide into the environment.

The invention of steam engine and extraction of coal for industrial purposes changed the whole system. Carbon dioxide level in the atmosphere had increased to 35 per cent, he claimed.

The level of other gases had also increased. The average temperature had risen by 0.8 degrees Celsius in the last 100 years resulting in casualties in Bangladesh and Philippines.

Countries such as Maldives were likely to be submerged between 2032 and 2045 owing to the rise in the sea level, he said.

The Inter Governmental Panel on Climate Change had come up with scientific results pertaining to different parts of the world. It had found that global warming was inevitable and that greenhouse effects would increase the temperature by 5 to 7 degrees Celsius in the years to come.

While the impact of climate change would be more in Asia, the social cost of climate change would be much higher in India.

The impact could be seen in increasing water scarcity, destruction of soil fertility owing to the use of fertilizers and pesticides, fall in water level in lakes and drying up of agricultural fields.

On how people in Vellore could help in preventing the effects of climate change, Mr. Mohammed said they could think of utilising alternative sources of power such as solar energy. In areas where groundwater had been polluted by tanneries and industries, people should approach the government to ensure active monitoring of emission standards followed by industries.