No one knows how much warming is "safe". What we do know is that climate change is already harming people and ecosystems. Its reality can be seen in melting glaciers, disintegrating polar ice, thawing permafrost, changing monsoon patterns, rising sea levels, changing ecosystems and fatal heat waves.

Scientists are not the only ones talking about these changes. From the apple growers in Himachal to the farmers in Vidharbha and those living in disappearing islands in the Sunderbans are already struggling with the impacts of climate change.

But this is just the beginning. We need to act to avoid catastrophic climate change. While not all regional effects are known yet, here are some likely future effects if we allow current trends to continue.

Relatively likely and early effects of small to moderate warming:

  • Rise in sea level due to melting glaciers and the thermal expansion of the oceans as global temperature increases.

  • Massive release of greenhouse gases from melting permafrost and dying forests.

  • A high risk of more extreme weather events such as heat waves, droughts and floods. The global incidence of drought has already doubled over the past 30 years.

  • Severe regional impacts. Example: In Europe river flooding will increase and in coastal areas the risk of flooding, erosion and wetland loss will increase substantially.

  • Natural systems, including glaciers, coral reefs, mangroves, Arctic ecosystems, alpine ecosystems, Boreal forests, tropical forests, prairie wetlands and native grasslands, will be severely threatened.

  •  The existing risks of species extinction and biodiversity loss will increase.

  • The greatest impacts will be on the poorer countries least able to protect themselves from rising sea levels. There will be spread of disease and declines in agricultural production in the developing countries of Africa, Asia and the Pacific.

  •  At all scales of climate change, developing countries will suffer the most.

Longer term catastrophic effects if warming continues:

  • Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets are melting. Unless checked, warming from emissions may trigger the irreversible meltdown of the Greenland ice sheet in the coming decades, which would add up to a seven meters rise in sea-level over some centuries. New evidence showing the rate of ice discharge from parts of the Antarctic means that it is also facing a risk of meltdown.

  • The slowing, shifting or shutting down of the Atlantic Gulf stream current is having dramatic effects in Europe, disrupting the global ocean circulation system.

  • Catastrophic releases of methane from the oceans are leading to rapid increases in methane in the atmosphere and the consequent warming.

Never before has humanity been forced to grapple with such an immense environmental crisis. If we do not take urgent and immediate action to stop global warming, the damage could become irreversible.

The latest updates

 

No Trees, No Future, Save KBR

Blog entry by Ali Abbas | May 15, 2016

Amid the record high temperature that Hyderabad is facing this summer, news broke out that the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation ( GHMC)  is planning to chop down 3100 trees across city to widen the roads and lay the flyovers. We...

Statement From Greenpeace India On The Signing Of The Paris Agreement At The UN

Feature story | April 22, 2016 at 18:43

New York/ New Delhi |April 22 2016|Even as Officials from over 120 countries, including India, gather to sign the Paris Agreement today at New York, latest scientific data reinforces the urgency for action. The first three months of 2016 were the...

We Will Defeat Climate Change - Through Cooperation

Blog entry by Jennifer Morgan and Bunny McDiarmid | April 22, 2016

Today, on Earth Day, more than 165 countries sign a global agreement to protect our environment - the  Paris Climate Agreement  - at the first opportunity, a  record turnout  for an international agreement. This is an encouraging...

Kolkata getting down to the basics of 'Do'!

Blog entry by Grace Saji | April 4, 2016

It’s not all that very often that one hears of an environment program (as opposed to a cultural program) being conducted in Kolkata, so my eyes (literally) popped out when I got the invite: “You’re going to be invited as a delegate at...

Nothing momentous in the Modi-Obama statement on climate change

Feature story | January 25, 2015 at 1:43

Greenpeace India expressed disappointment at the joint announcement by Prime Minister Modi and President Obama as it didn’t go beyond rhetoric and the usual platitudes.

LIMA COP 20: Hope and an opportunity for India

Blog entry by Abhishek Pratap | November 30, 2014

It’s that time of the year again when climate and its politics get prominence! Starting today and for the next two weeks, official negotiators, bureaucrats, technocrats, think-tanks, activists, civil society, corporate honchos, trade...

Fishermen left marooned - Hudhud Aftermath

Blog entry by Aishwarya Madineni | November 10, 2014

As we drove along the east coast off the Visakhapatanam main roads to reach the fishermen’s villages in Bheemilipatanam, the second town to have municipality in the country after Chennai, Srilakshmi, a community worker from the...

Climate change washes off Hudhud in India

Blog entry by Aishwarya Madineni | November 5, 2014

On the 12 th of October 2014, the city of Visakhapatanam along with its neighbouring coastal villages in the district witnessed a climate catastrophe of an unimaginable scale . Cyclone Hudhud with wind speeds close to 220kmph...

The Peoples Climate March is happening on the 20th of September and here are 10...

Blog entry by Rohini Manohar | September 18, 2014

1) You're tired of paying high electricity bills and STILL don't get electricity 24x7 (common killing mosquitoes is really not as fun as you think it to be). 2) You hate having to ride around with a dupatta on your face looking like...

BJP progressive on Economy, not on Environment

Blog entry by Pari Trivedi | April 8, 2014

The Bhartiya Janata Party released its much awaited and much delayed manifesto today, promising to boost India's economy and reiterating its obligation to the cause of Hindutva. The issue of environment has always taken a backseat in...

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