Causes of climate change

Causes of climate change

  • Burning fossil fuels 
  • Cutting down forests  
  • Farming livestock 

These are increasingly influencing the climate and the earth’s temperature. 

This adds enormous amounts of greenhouse gases to those naturally occurring in the  atmosphere, increasing the greenhouse effect and global warming. 

Global warming 

2011-2020 was the warmest decade recorded, with global average temperature reaching 1.1°C  above pre-industrial levels in 2019. Human-induced global warming is presently increasing  at a rate of 0.2°C per decade. 

An increase of 2°C compared to the temperature in pre-industrial times is associated with  serious negative impacts on to the natural environment and human health and wellbeing,  including a much higher risk that dangerous and possibly catastrophic changes in the global  environment will occur. 

For this reason, the international community has recognised the need to keep warming well  below 2°C and pursue efforts to limit it to 1.5°C. 

Greenhouse gases 

The main driver of climate change is the greenhouse effect. Some gases in thEarth’s atmosphere act a bit like the  glass in a greenhouse, trapping the sun’s heat and stopping it from leaking back into space and causing global warming. Many of these greenhouse gases occur naturally, but human activities are  increasing the concentrations of some  of them in the atmosphere, in particular: 

  • carbon dioxide (CO2)
  • methane
  • nitrous oxide 
  • fluorinated gases 

CO2 produced by human activities is the largest contributor to global warming. By 2020, its  concentration in the atmosphere had risen to 48% above its pre-industrial level (before 1750). 

Other greenhouse gases are emitted by human activities in smaller quantities. Methane is a  more powerful greenhouse gas than CO2, but has a shorter atmospheric lifetime. Nitrous  oxide, like CO2, is a long-lived greenhouse gas that accumulates in the atmosphere over  decades to centuries. Non-greenhouse gas pollutants, including aerosols like soot, have  different warming and cooling effects and are also associated with other issues such as poor air  quality. 

Natural causes, such as changes in solar radiation or volcanic activity are estimated to have  contributed less than plus or minus 0.1°C to total warming between 1890 and 2010.

Consequences of climate change 

Climate change affects all regions around the world. Polar ice shields are melting and the  sea is rising. In some regions, extreme weather events and rainfall are becoming more  common while others are experiencing more extreme heat waves and droughts. We need  climate action now, or these impacts will only intensify. 

Climate change is a very serious threat, and its consequences impact many different aspects of  our lives. Below, you can find a list of climate change’s main consequences. 

Natural consequences 

What are the consequences of climate change for the natural world? 

  • High temperatures 
  • Drought and wildfires 
  • Availability of fresh water 
  • Floods 
  • Sea-level rise and coastal areas 
  • Biodiversity 
  • Soils 
  • Inland water 
  • Marine environment 

Social threats 

What social threats does climate change  bring upon us? 

  • Health 
  • Vulnerable population
  • Employment 
  • Education

Threats to business 

How does climate change represent a threat to business? 

  • Infrastructure and buildings
  • Energy 
  • Agriculture and forestry 
  • Insurance 
  • Tourism
  • Cross-cutting issues for businesses

Territorial threats 

How are different areas affected by climate change? 

  • The Arctic 
  • Northern Europe 
  • North-western Europe 
  • Central and eastern Europe
  • Mediterranean region 
  • Cities and urban areas 
  • Mountain areas 

As you can see, climate change is a serious matter and it affects us all. This can be overwhelming. 

 

 

SOLAR ENERGY IN INDIA 

Context: G20 leaders agreed to triple the renewable energy capacity worldwide by 2030 and  admitted the need to phase-down coal power. 

India’s Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) target to achieve  about 40 percent cumulative electric power installed capacity from non-fossil  fuel-based energy resources and to reduce the emission intensity of its GDP by  33 to 35 percent from 2005 level by 2030. Solar is the most secure of all sources  due to its abundant availability and is expected to be the main driving force in  India’s vision for transformation. 

SOLAR ENERGY 

  • Theoretically, a small fraction of the total incident solar energy, if captured  effectively, can meet the entire country’s power requirements. About 5,000  trillion kWh per year energy is incident over India’s land area. 
  • Solar energy can be used mainly in three ways:  
      • direct conversion of sunlight into electricity through PV cells
      • concentrating solar power 
      • solar thermal collectors 
  • Advantages 
    • ability to generate power on a distributed basis
    • enables rapid capacity addition with short lead time 
    • off-grid decentralization and low-temperature applications benefits rural areas 
  • social and economic benefits 
    • reduction in drudgery among rural women and girls engaged in the  collection of fuel wood from long distances
    • reduced cooking in smoky kitchens
    • minimization of the risks of contracting lung and eye ailments o employment generation at village level 
    • improvement in the standard of living

National Solar Mission (NSM) 

Objective: to establish India as a global leader in solar energy by creating the  policy conditions for solar technology diffusion across the country as quickly as  possible  

Period: launched on 11th January, 2010.  

Feature: 

  1. promote ecological sustainable growth while addressing India’s energy  security challenges. 
  2. a major contribution by India to the global effort to meet the challenges of  climate change. 
  3. targets installing 100 GW grid-connected solar power plants by the year 2022. 

Development of Solar Parks and Ultra Mega Solar Power Projects 

Objective: to facilitate the solar project developers to set up projects  expeditiously.  

Period: 2014-15 to 2023-24 

Features:  

  1. Makes setting up of solar projects hassle free for developers within the solar  park – Difficulties faced by individual projects: huge cost for setting up infrastructure, higher project cost per MW and higher transmission losses.
  2. proposed to set up at least 25 Solar Parks and Ultra Mega Solar Power Projects  targeting 20,000 MW of solar power installed capacity within a span of 5 years  
  3. envisages supporting the States/UTs in setting up solar parks at various  locations in the country with a view to create required infrastructure for setting  up of solar power projects. 
  4. The capacity of the solar parks shall be 500 MW and above. However, smaller  parks are also considered where contiguous land may be difficult to acquire 

Grid Connected Solar Rooftop Programme 

Objective: To achieve a cumulative installed capacity of 40,000 MW from Grid  Connected Rooftop Solar (RTS) projects. 

Period: Phase II till March, 2026

Features: 

  1. Central Financial Assistance/ Subsidy for residential electricity consumers – 4  GW 
  2. Incentives for DISCOMs – initial capacity of 18 GW 

Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahabhiyaan (PM  KUSUM) 

Objective: aims to add solar and other renewable capacity of 30,800 MW by 2022  with total central financial support of Rs. 34,422 Crore 

Period: Till December, 2026 

Features:  

  1. Component A: 10,000 MW of solar capacity through installation of small Solar  Power Plants of individual plants of capacity upto 2 MW. 
  2. Component B: Installation of 20 lakh standalone Solar Powered Agriculture  Pumps. 
  3. Component C: Individual Pump Solarisation / Feeder level solarisation – solarization of 15 Lakh Grid-connected Agriculture Pumps. 

OTHER NEWS

Aditya L1  completes another  step in its journey  towards sun Aditya L-1 spacecraft, India’s first space-based mission to  study the sun 

The third earth-bound manoeuvre was successfully performed Aditya-L1 will stay approximately 1.5 million km away from  earth, directed towards the sun, which is about 1% of the earth sun distance.

Earthquake at  Morocco 6.8-magnitude quake struck 72 km southwest of Marrakesh  wiped out villages in the hills of the Atlas Mountains an aftershock of magnitude 4.5 rattled already-traumatised  region
India’s External  Debt India’s External Debt: A Status Report 2022-23 released by  Department of economic affairs, Ministry of Finance. 

India’s external debt of $624.7 billion with a debt-service ratio  of 5.3% is within the comfort zone 

ratio of external debt to GDP declined from 20% to 18.9% in  2022-23. 

debt-service ratio increased marginally from 5.2% to 5.3%  during 2022-23

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