The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate change is a specialised intergovernmental organization of the United Nations designed to provide objective, unbiased information pertinent to current knowledge of climate change and its impacts. The panel was established by the World Health Assembly in 2021 and is administered by the World Health Organisation. It is a permanent part of the United Nations system and reports directly to the Secretary-General of the World Health Organisation. There are three main operational phases, which are under review, assessment and policy making. Recommendations from the Panel are made to the Secretary-General, who makes recommendations to member states of the United Nations on relevant issues. Reports are then published in an attempt to assist mankind in conserving natural resources, reducing emissions of greenhouse gases and in protecting and enhancing the quality of the environment.
Reviews are done periodically to determine if there are new scientific facts or advancements in the field that might cause a change in the status of global warming. An assessment is done at the most basic level, looking at the progress so far and how fast the changes can be made. The major areas of concern are greenhouse gases, solid waste, glacier retreat, ocean acidification, land-use, food chain and human climate change. These reviews are done on an annual basis. The report of the Panel on Climate change is used as a guide for policy makers, companies and individuals to work towards a more sustainable world.
Changes in the earth’s temperature and precipitation can be both natural and man made. Natural variations occur with time such as El Nino and La Nioca. These events can have a strong influence on global warming. A natural phenomenon such as a cyclone can create negative effects on global warming. Even though natural events are occurring, mankind has an impact on global warming.
Greenhouse Gas Emissions
One aspect of global warming is the greenhouse gas emissions that are released into the atmosphere from burning fossil fuels. A recent study shows that there is evidence of a large increase in carbon dioxide levels since the industrial revolution. Other evidence for global warming includes ice melting, rising sea levels and melting glaciers. All evidence points to the fact that man is contributing to global warming.
Man has an effect on global temperatures by using electricity produced through coal power plants to produce heat. Carbon dioxide is one of the main components of what produces the atmosphere’s warmth. Emissions of carbon dioxide are increasing around the world at a rapid pace. The other main greenhouse gas is methane, which comes from livestock.
Evidence shows that increased use of agricultural products such as cotton, beef and grains are the main drivers of increases in greenhouse gas emissions. The increase in the utilization of wood for home construction is another significant factor in contributing to global warming. Increasing consumption of nonrenewable fossil fuels like coal, petroleum and natural gas are leading to a serious imbalance in the use of the Earth’s nonrenewable resources. This will exacerbate global warming.
Rapid efforts by developed countries to reduce their emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases would slow, if not halt, global warming. The developed world must develop alternate sources of energy such as wind and solar power. The developing world need not turn to fossil fuels to meet their energy needs. One suggestion is for the developing world to use geothermal power. It uses the earth’s molten core to generate energy.
Global warming is a reality today. The only question now is how much damage will it cause our environment. Manmade greenhouse gases, if unchecked, will continue to pollute our environment.