The scientific community has advised that if greenhouse gas emissions keep boosting, there will be a point of no return for our planet. Thus, global warming will become a dangerous challenge in the future and the main cause is the use of fossil fuels from developed nations. Another term for global warming is climate change and it is often defined as an increase in average air temperature on different parts of the planet. The reason why I am writing about climate change is because of the current events going on, such as the ice melting in Greenland or the intense power or hurricanes in the USA. In addition, where I am from (Peru), climate change has affected severely in different areas such as the Andes region as well as the dramatic change in different parts of the country. I am writing about Peru because I lived there and I want to raise awareness about the several impacts of climate change in my hometown and spread the word.
Climate change has impacted Peru in several ways. One of the ways is the serious change in the weather. For instance, hurricanes, snow storms or rain storms have become more numerous as the earth’s temperature keeps increasing. Different events have been occurring such as in 2013 where an extraordinary snowfall in 10 different regions of Peru had forced the Peruvian government to announced a state of emergency in those regions. As a result, over a hundred thousand residents were affected from the snow and tens of thousands of animals perished. In addition, mudslides have become a threat to different parts of the country and is mainly caused by heavier and more common rainfalls. In fact, it is expected that mudslides will get worse as the air temperature keeps increasing as well as the level of the oceans. This creates danger for the people, animals, and any type of properties who are in the paths of mudslides. Another way climate change is impacting Peru is by the increase of the seal level. Since air temperature keeps increasing it causes sea level to rise dramatically and this causes the likelihood of severe flood and mudslides. By combining sea level rise and increase of temperature, more water is going to evaporate and this causes the strength of hurricanes, floods or mudslides to be more destructive. Furthermore, as the increase of storm surge to higher levels during coastal storm, it will accelerate beach erosion, and this puts the people and properties in danger along the coast. This could affect all the beach’s areas along the Lima area. Based on the Peruvian Navy’s department of oceanography, it has advised that rising sea levels could cause popular areas on Peru to become inhabitable in 80 years. For example, the area of La Punta in the port city of Callao or the upper-class district of Asia, as well as the popular beach town of Mancora could be affected.
Glacier melt is also another effect of Climate Change in Peru. It is common to know glaciers are huge coats of ice and snow which are melting, and Peru is not exempted from this issue. The glaciers in Peru are very unique and different since they are known as tropical glaciers. In fact, Peru has about 70% of the world’s tropical glaciers and some of these glaciers are melting already. For instance, Lake Palcacocha is a glacier lake located in the Cordillera Blanca, this lake has been significantly inflated with glacial meltwater. This could possibly repeat a catastrophic event from 1941, where a chunk of ice escaped from the glacier and hit into the lake and caused an avalanche of mud into the city of Huaraz, killing at least five thousand people. Moreover, this lake is more dangerous since April 2013, NASA scientist have found a fissure in the glacier above the Lake Palcacocha by using Terra satellite images. This fissure and the increase of water’s volume from the lake in recent years could potentially create another tragedy. However, the Peruvian government is already planning strategies to control the melt from the glacier, such as artificially draining some water from the lake.
Lastly, droughts are another aftermath of climate change. As the air temperature keeps increasing, it robs streams, rivers, and lakes of their water supplies. This will create a challenge for Peru’s economy since it creates droughts. Indeed, about one-third of Peru’s population is connected in the agricultural activities. Moreover, the different types of products and crops made by agriculture produce more than 62% of Peru’s food supply. Thus, more than half of Peru’s farmlands depend on rainfall to make crops. This means that agriculture in Peru is on jeopardy if rainfall is adjusted by climate change. For example, a series of droughts have happened already in the Amazon region. Therefore, the Amazon’s trees produced more carbon dioxide than oxygen and this change has affected excessively the ecosystem around. In addition, areas around the Amazon and the rest of the country are becoming drier and more vulnerable to outbreaks of wildfires.
Climate change is not only affecting Peru, but it is also affecting the countries next to it such as Colombia, Ecuador, and Brazil. The spread of wildfires would affect Brazil and mudslides have also affected different regions in Colombia, such as the mudslide in 2017 where more than 200 people perished due to the heavy rains. Rainfall occurring more frequently in Ecuador is affecting the agricultural area, and this might lead to economic issues since a big part of the Ecuadorean economy comes from agriculture. In fact, Ecuador is also facing warmer temperatures, and this is leading to severe droughts since crops and other plants are unable to grow due to hotter temperatures. Although, the Peruvian government is taking different steps to deal with the effects of climate change, the nations who produce most of the greenhouse such as China or the USA should be held accountable. They both produce more than 40% of the greenhouse emission and should take bigger steps to assist different nations worldwide in order to fight the severe effects of climate change.