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Effect & Threats of Climate Change in My Home Country Nepal

Regional effects of climate change are proving to be long-term significant changes in the expected patterns of average weather.  The world average temperature is rising due to increasing levels of greenhouse gases, especially carbon dioxide. When the global temperature changes, the changes in climate are not expected to be uniform across the Earth. In particular, land areas change more quickly than oceans, and northern high latitudes change more quickly than the tropics, and the margins of biome region change faster than do their cores.

Regional effects of climate change vary in nature. Some are the result of a generalized global change, such as rising temperatures which results in melting ice. I am from Nepal, in Nepal there are so many mountains and of the 10 world’s top mountains, 8 are in Nepal including the world’s highest peak, Mount Everest and world’s 3rd highest peak Kangchenjunga. Due to global warming, we see very few snows in those mountains nowadays, glaciers are melting rapidly which are contributing to sea level rise. In other cases, a change may be related to an altered particular ocean current or weather system. In such cases, the regional effect may be disproportionate and will not necessarily follow the global trend. The increasing temperatures from greenhouse gases have been causing sea levels to rise for many years. My country is not on the ocean but, in general, the water from the ice melting and glacier melting is causing the sea level rise.

By the mid-21st century, crop yields could increase up to 20% in east and southeast Asia. In the same period, yields could decrease up to 30% in central and south Asia. Nepal is in south Asia and in my locality, I have been seeing catastrophic damages in crops, rice harvesting has been decreasing every year, similarly, other crops are also not harvesting very well. Some crops are already in danger of extinction, some of the crops just don’t grow anymore in my region, the same crops that were well cultivated crops in pre-industrialization era.

Sickness and death due to diarrheal disease are projected to increase in east, south, and southeast Asia due to projected changes in the hydrological cycle associated with climate change. Hydrological cycle, also known as the water cycle, is continuous movement of water on, above and below the surface of the Earth. The mass of water on Earth remains fairly constant over time but the partitioning of the water into the major reservoirs of ice, fresh water, saline water and atmospheric water is variable depending on a wide range of climatic variables. The water moves from one reservoir to another such as from river to ocean, or from the ocean to the atmosphere, by the physical processes of evaporation, condensation, precipitation, infiltration, surface runoff, and subsurface flow. In doing so, the water goes through different forms: liquid, solid(ice) and vapor.

Other aspects include agricultural demand from China’s crops lead to land degradation and land modifications which in turn lead to increased greenhouse gas emissions. As I already mentioned, south Asia is one of the most vulnerable regions globally to a number of direct and indirect effects of climate change, including sea level rise, cyclonic activity and changes in ambient temperature and precipitation patterns. Ecological disasters, such as a 1998 coral bleaching event that killed off more than 70% of corals in the reef ecosystems off Lakshadweep off the coast of Kerala, India and the Andamans in the Bay of Bengal, and was brought on by elevated oceans temperatures tied to global warming, are also projected to become increasingly common.

Climate change in Nepal is a major problem for Nepal as it is one of the most vulnerable countries to the effects of climate change. Globally, Nepal is ranked fourth, in terms of vulnerability to climate change. Floods spread across the foothills of the Himalayas and bring landslides leaving tens of thousands of houses and vast areas of farmland and roads destroyed. In the 2020 edition of Germanwatch’s Climate Risk Index, it was judged to be the ninth hardest-hit nation by climate calamities during the period 1999 to 2018. Nepal is a least developed country, with 28.6 percent of the population living in multidimensional poverty. Analysis of trends from 1971 to 2014 by the Department of Hydrology and Meteorology (DHM) shows that the average annual maximum temperature has been increasing by 0.056 °C per year. Precipitation extremes are found to be increasing. A national-level survey on the perception-based survey on climate change reported that locals accurately perceived the shifts in temperature, but their perceptions of precipitation change di not converge with the instrumental records. Data reveals that more than 80 % of property loss due to disasters is attributable to climate hazards, particularly water-related events such as floods, landslides and glacial lake outburst floods.

Climate change is projected to decrease freshwater availability in central, south, east and southeast Asia, particularly in large river basins. With population growth and increasing demand for higher standards of living, this decrease could adversely affect more than a billion people by the 2050s. Glaciers in Asia are melting at a faster rate than has been documented in historical records. Melting glaciers increase the risks of flooding and rock avalanches from destabilized slopes. In recent years, there are many incidents happening due to melting glaciers and killing mountaineers and trekkers. Also, increased flooding from rivers and the sea threatens coastal areas, especially heavily populated delta regions in south, east, and southeast Asia.  To sum, there are many concrete steps which can be taken to address the threat of climate change. Incentives can be provided for electric vehicles or public transport and this curb the impact of the transportation sector. Households can be given electricity and slowly phasing out LGP (Liquefied Petroleum Gas). Rainwater can be harvested, and the rivers could be restored to their original flow so that they can bring back the wetlands and the natural ways of silt, nutrient and wildlife flow.

image: https://climatenepal.wordpress.com/2009/12/01/youth-call-from-the-himalayas/

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