Half A Degree Increase In Temperature, A Big Challenge For All

Last Sunday, the Intergovernmental Panel on climate change was held in South Korea. The document that was issued by the panel declared the actions that will be initiated to protect the environment and the survival of species, specifically in relation to the current increase in temperature. Taking steps to prevent the rise in temperature will lead to solutions for problems such as lack of water, illnesses caused by high temperature, the melting West Antarctic ice sheet, and the endangered coral reef. 


    This goal is not easy to achieve. During the post-industrial period, the world temperature increased by one degree. This new panel report is not the first agreement that world leaders have created. In 2010, a goal was set to limit the rise of temperature within two degrees and in 2015, the historic Paris climate agreement was achieved, which further stressed the need to prevent the rise in temperature.


    The most essential step is to control the carbon outlet. It has been calculated that the annual world carbon dioxide level needs to be cut by half  by 2030. However, development is an important concept to consider when turning these statistics into reality. There is huge economic potential in the natural resources found in both the Amazon Forest and the Atlantic Ocean, but these developmental gains can lead to a major loss in relation to the environment. It may seem unfair for many countries that their developments in technology will be delayed due to environmental concerns. However, we do not own the earth, it belongs to other living forms and future generations.


    Several follow-up reports have come out this week about the climate goal proposed by the Intergovernmental Panel. There is a focus on a possible solution to the 0.5-degree limitations of temperature growth. Experts have said that making use of aerosol, which reflects the heat of sunlight, will assist in cooling the temperatures on earth. Though no authority has claimed that they will apply this method, it is considered as a backup plan if the 0.5-degree target is missed. While  this solution helps to control the temperature, it may lead to other consequences that interferes with the living conditions of life on earth. In order to avoid this,  geo-engineering knowledge will be important when dealing with this issue.


Environmental problems have become a moral issue. Only when the world is aware of our obligation  to solving the problem, will we be able to save ourselves from the environmental catastrophe that is to come.

Helen Jingshu Yao

An international student in Canada, interested in the topics concerning humanity, feminism, and equal access to education for all.