Recently, NASA released very strange images of the Greenland ice melt, which they itself call as unprecedented. The images of Greenland taken by three different satellites show very uncommon ice melt on this part of the world. According to the satellite images on July 8, about 40% of the Greenland’ ice has undergone thawing. In just four days, on July 12, scientists observed that almost 97% of the Greenland ice has been melting. This phenomena is completely strange and alarming for everyone us. Usually 50% of the Greenland’ ice starts melting during summer.
The question is- whether our newly established Climate Change Ministry is aware of this change? Are they taking the responsibility of informing our people that our World is changing? Or they are just ignoring this unusual information for the reason that Greenland is far way from Pakistan and it has no direct threat to our country? Global warming is a global issue and it doesn’t identify any international boundary when it comes to the impacts of climate change.
However, we have to live in a reality that climate change would be making some impacts completely irreversible in coming few years such as frequent and extreme weather events. According to the climate scientists, if half of the Greenland and Antarctica ice melts and goes into sea, it will raise sea level up to five meters. While one meter sea level rise will displace around 100 million people. Our coastal areas in Sindh and Baluchistan are not the exceptions. Someone, if visit such areas, would find numbers of our coastal villages have already gone under water. Kati Bunder, located 200km south-east of Karachi, is our live example in terms of sea level rise, high risks of cyclones and threats to fresh water availability for local communities.
It’s a good initiative that our government established the Climate Change Ministry, following the approval of National Climate Change Policy. However, the role of ministry itself is of high importance, in terms of educating our people about the threats posed by climate change and taking appropriate measures to utilize available resources and create new resources to adapt to climate impacts.
The Climate Change Ministry should have a strong voice at international community and forums to highlight the issues like Greenland ice melt and advocate on global changes which have direct impacts on our country like food security, sea level rise, changing monsoon and extreme weather events.
No matter our nation faces many issues and problems, however there is a need for a productive behavioral change, where our people can hold our ministries and authorities accountable for what is happening around us.
We need to learn from example of a seventeen year old American child Alec Loorz- founder of Kids vs. Global Warming (http://kids-vs-global-warming.com/Home.html), who is taking the U.S. government to court for failing to protect the atmosphere from carbon pollution. Are we also sensible enough to think about our environment and reminding the responsibilities to our power holders in the cabinet?