Nepal | August 13, 2020

Climate change responsible for rising temperature, COVID-19

HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
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Kathmandu, July 30

Record breaking temperature and COVID-19 are both warnings that humanity must reset its relationship with nature and address climate crisis, or face potentially deadlier pandemics and disasters, warned Save the Children, climate scientists, and youth activists in a press release issued today.

The pandemic has largely buried public concern and discussion in Asia-Pacific and worldwide about climate emergency, according to new analysis by Save the Children, even though global heating remains the number one threat to the region’s societies and their children, it said.

This is set to witness one of the top two warmest years in 141 years of temperature records.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in the United States reports that the first half of 2020 was the second warmest January-June period on record. This was partly driven by record heat in Siberia in northern Asia, where average temperature in June was more than five degree Celsius above normal.

“The world has fever. We need to apply the cure fast,” said Bandana Risal, Interim Country Director of Save the Children.

“Otherwise, today’s children will inherit a planet on fire, a world in which pandemics are a constant threat and their lives are blighted by a climate crisis they did not create.”

Extreme weather disasters, like floods now affecting millions of people in Bangladesh, China, India, and Nepal, as well as heatwaves, cyclones, and droughts, are intensifying as a result of global heating. Rising sea level means that by 2050, many of Asia-Pacific’s coastal mega-cities and small island nations could suffer once-in-a-century extreme weather events every year, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

“Asia-Pacific is already the world’s most disaster-prone region.

Unless we act fast, the climate crisis will make catastrophe a way of life for hundreds of millions of people in the region,” said Prof Benjamin Horton, director of Earth Observatory of Singapore and a member of the IPCC.


A version of this article appears in e-paper on July 31, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.


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