For some time now, the erratic weather has continued unabated, the scorching temperatures, the dry air which attacks our nostrils; the dust everywhere and the skin tends to get ashy quickly. In some areas a fresh cloud of dew covers the palm trees, the mountains; in other areas hot, dry and draughty air buffets the rooms, making millions of people uncomfortable. Seasons and time seemed poised in uncertainty.
The above scenario allows scientists’ prediction comes true. The scientists had long foreshadowed that climate change would increase extreme weather incidents but why is this so? That is simply the impact of global warming. According to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, “Global warming refers only to the Earth’s rising surface temperature, while climate change includes warming and the “side effects” of warming—like melting glaciers, heavier rainstorms, or more frequent drought. The erratic weather is not only in Nigeria but a global phenomenon.
Anyone travelling in the untarred road in some northern parts of the country would not only have wind sing loudly into his ear but will be turbaned in dusty tan. In the past, one could predict assuredly when and how cloud of dust would envelop a trekker but today distorted seasons have come to stay.
When the whirlwind starts in some parts of the world, some would begin to speak in tongue. According to the guardian.com, “The current heatwave has been caused by an extraordinary stalling of the jet stream wind, which usually funnels cool Atlantic weather over the continent. This has left hot, dry air in place for two months – far longer than usual. The stalling of the northern hemisphere jet stream is being increasingly firmly linked to global warming, in particular to the rapid heating of the Arctic and resulting loss of sea ice.’’
Australia is sweltering through record-breaking heat. And the worst is yet to come. While the current heat continues to cause problems for Australians now, scientists warn that without coordinated action on climate change, heat waves will become more likely. In the southern state of Tasmania, dozens of bushfires broke out, destroying homes and wilderness as hundreds of firefighters sought to get the blazes under control.
Scientists claimed that global warming can contribute to the intensity of heat waves by increasing the chances of very hot days and nights. More droughts create dry fields and forest that are prone to catching fire, and increasing temperatures mean a longer wildfire season.
More effect of global warming include: rise in sea level which increases the amount of seawater, the seawater along with more rainfall can result in destructive flooding.
Yes, for many states, harmattan is characterized by very cold temperatures, particularly in the mornings and nights and very hot weather in the afternoons. The humidity also falls really low and the air is dusty which makes the skin dries up quickly. But this is much more than what was experienced decades ago where you are sure of when rain would fall. The climate has changed and we are at the threshold of telling what conditions we were during those changes and proffering a permanent solution to it, how and when it will happen is what we don’t know.
Science is too important to be left alone in the hands of the scientists. It is distressing to see that we have not taken the necessary action that would ameliorate the effect of climate change. It is high time we made an important cuts needed in greenhouse gas emissions… but more importantly takes daily steps to deliberately lessen the impact of global warming and climate change in our own small changes. Such steps include: Use of LED for lighting and avoid more energy demand, eat less meat, invest in your own sources of renewable energy, educate yourself on the CO2 impact of goods and services you consume, buy gas and electricity from retailers who sell renewable power, among others. I can say without mincing words that reducing carbon emissions requires a large scale action which the government must not shy away from.
•Olusanya Anjorin, Lagos