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Selasa, 15 Disember 2009

Climate Change: Natural Phenomenon or Human Factor?

Climate change is one of the greatest environmental threats facing our planet. It has also become one of the current issues frequently discussed among leaders of all countries.

Recently, the issue became a main topic at the United Nations General Assembly’s (UNGA) 62nd session themed “Future in Our Hands: Facing Leadership Challenge to Climate Change”.

According to local scientists, they believe global warming is the caused for climate change which produces profound effects, such as the current flooding in our country.

Professor Khairul Maini Osman Salleh, Director of The University of Malaya’s Climate Change Agency (UMCCA) said the phenomena is a catalyst to the processes of climatology which cause unpredictable drastic changes.

As we know, Global warming is causing serious consequences for humanity and other life forms. A rise in sea levels of between 18 to 59 cm will endanger coastal areas and small islands, and will result in a greater frequency and severity of extreme weather events.

There is a belief among us that the increasing climate changes are caused by the innate nature of change, as one of God’s foretold predeterminations, like the causation of day and night exchanged. But, is this true?

In any case, we cannot deny the human factor; it is the main cause contributing to the increasing change in world climate over the past 50 or even 100 years.

Actually, the earth’s climate is influenced by many factors, namely the amount of greenhouse gases and aerosols in the atmosphere, the amount of energy radiating from the sun, or the properties in the earth’s surface. Changes in these factors through either human-related or natural processes have a warming or cooling effect on the planet because they alter how much of this solar energy is reflected back into space.

Most of the observable warming that has occurred over the last 50 years is very likely due to the increase in atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations due to human activities. Human activities now clearly affect other aspects of climate, including ocean warming, continental average temperatures, temperature extremes and wind patterns.

There are many human activities which contribute to climate change, in particular, the burning of fossil fuels, agriculture, deforestation and non meditation of waste termination areas. These cause emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4), the main gases responsible for climate change, in addition to other ‘greenhouse’ gases.
To bring this alarming climate change to a halt, global ‘greenhouse’ gas emissions must be significantly reduced.

Cooperation from all countries is needed in order to reduce the emissions of ‘greenhouse’ gases. Compared to other developed countries, The United States in particular, our country places serious concern for the global warming by supporting the Kyoto Protocol. That is still not enough if all countries do not lend their support to solve the problem together.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in a reexamination of the proofs concerning climate change summarized that more than 90% of human should be blamed as being the source for the increase of global temperatures.

According to the IPCC, based on current trends, the extreme emission of ‘green house’ gases will continue to heat the earth’s atmosphere, damage ice covers and snow apart from increasing the depths of sea level.

The Panel also warned that the effects of the phenomenon were “sudden or unable to be corrected anymore”.

In such scenario, humanity will feel increased suffering. Crops and form animals will damage which will led to a decreasing food supply in some areas the world over.

Humanity also will face the destructive consequences of storms, the increasing in disease epidemics, drought, flooding, hurricanes and mosquito and water borne diseases will be more frequent.

Recently, Professor Dr. Emil Salim, a local environmentalist said that the impact of global warming has caused 23 uninhabited islands in Jakarta, Indonesia to disappear. He also assumed that many more islands, including inhabited islands will also be submerged, as a result of continuous global warming by the year 2025.

What will be happen if his fears become reality? Not only will the country face a major problem, but neighbouring countries will also feel the impact if something were do happen to that country.

Indonesia, which has more than 17,000 islands still has the opportunity and ample time to avoid such a catastrophe. The easiest way is do save the forest in order that the serious impact of global warming which is now sweeping the globe will be gradually resolved.

In reality, awareness in terms of the threat of global warming among society is also important in order that, humanity is able to take action based on current circumstances. They need to be remind, that they will be aware and willing to accept the effects of global warming.

Communication problems and in action must be overcome in order that our mankind will be conscious and able to take action in the event of catastrophe.

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