Pandora Climate: September 2021
Evia, Greece: Being the epicentre of the summer wildfires in the Mediterranean, the Greek island of Evia lost one-third of its forests with 508,000 acres of land burned within 14 days in the worst heatwave Greece has seen in 30 years.
With the fire having been a result of global warming, islanders suggest that the scope of the catastrophe could have been limited if only the government opted for better policies to preserve the woodlands.
They are also deeply concerned with how ill-prepared the government was seeing as the island is no stranger to heatwaves and forest fires.
China: As China struggles to supply its citizens with adequate electricity, the population is left uncertain with the upcoming winter season. Being the largest manufacturer in the world, China relies heavily on coal-fired plants and factories to keep the country running.
With the recent attempt at becoming a carbon-neutral country by 2060, China has slowed down coal production, making electricity scarce at government-controlled prices.
An estimated 44% of the country’s industrial activity has also been affected in the process. The country struggles to find sustainable alternatives to meet its climate goals, while providing its citizens with inadequate electricity.
India: Union minister Piyush Goyal announces India’s attempt at making their railways carbon neutral by 2030. Indian railways is one of the country’s largest polluters with an estimated 7 million tonnes of carbon being produced everyday.
Aiming to make railways entirely solar and wind-powered, utilising unused railway land to house renewable energy plants, the government has taken a step towards a circular economy.
13 stations, including the Chennai Central in Southern Railways, have already installed solar panels to satisfy all their daily energy requirements. A few wind plants have been erected in Tamil Nadu, too.
India: Northeastern India bore witness to long periods of drought and the overall drying up of land, reducing agricultural production and harvest. With weather and rainfall patterns rapidly changing, the region has seen a drastic decrease of rainfall as moisture and humidity are reduced by the increasing temperatures — impacting an estimated 19% of the country’s geographical land.
Partha Jyoti Das, head of the Water Climate and Hazard (WATCH) in Guwahati, Assam, stated that weather patterns have become increasingly unpredictable and variable, as climate change overpowers efforts such as afforestation to tackle challenges of soil erosion, restoring the flow of rivers, and land preservation.
A study conducted by Geophysical Research Letters indicates that the amount of light reflected from the earth, also known as the earth’s ‘glow’, is growing increasingly dimmer.
A product of sunlight reflected from the cloud coverage, land and vast oceans, the increasing unpredictability and variations in climate patterns have resulted in the glow growing dimmer by an estimated 0.5% since 1998, where most of that decline started in 2015.
Continued global warming and reducing cloud cover pose a global threat of the planet overheating and absorbing more solar radiation.
Hurricane Ida, one of the many Atlantic hurricanes to strike the US, caused havoc on the east coast. Termed as the “second-most damaging and intense hurricane”, it was a catastrophic category 4 tropical storm.
A total of 112 deaths were confirmed in the United States, and another 20 in the coastal parts of Venezuela.
Effects of the hurricane included tornadoes, widespread flooding, and landslides, alongside infrastructural damage.
Reporting by Veda Rodewald
Edited by Adi Roy and Thenthamizh SS