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Ahead of COP27, a look at what NASA is doing to fight climate change

Ahead of COP27, a look at what NASA is doing to fight climate change

Ahead of COP27, a look at what NASA is doing to fight climate change
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By CNBCTV18.COMNov 3, 2022 1:47:32 PM IST (Published)

"It's real, it's serious" and it's already impacting us!

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Ahead of the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference, more commonly referred to as COP27, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has released a video highlighting the seriousness of the issue and explained what the American space body is doing about it.
According to the chief scientist at NASA, Dr Kate Calvin, even a little change in temperature can have major effects on our existence. These effects are already in play — several parts of the world are already seeing rising sea levels, and extreme weather conditions like heatwaves, heavy rainfall and wildfire. "And a lot of these effects are going to increase," she said in a shared video.
What is NASA doing to fight climate change?
Calvin says NASA has tools "that better prepare us and let us understand the future climate change". The international space agency has also developed computer models that help understand how much climate might change in the future.
"We are also developing technology in NASA and around the world that can help us limit future warning," she said.
But, why is the climate changing?
"Human activities have been the main driver of climate change," the United Nations (UN) says. The climate is changing because of greenhouse gases emitted due to human activities — primarily due to burning fossil fuels like coal, oil and gas.
Why it matters...
Climate change affects human health. In 2021, the World Health Organization (WHO) said that between 2030 and 2050, climate change is expected to cause approximately 250,000 additional deaths per year, from malnutrition, malaria, diarrhoea and heat stress.
It has started impacting "clean air, safe drinking water, sufficient food and secure shelter". In some parts of the world, communities had to relocate in the wake of sea-level rise and saltwater intrusion. "In the future, the number of 'climate refugees' is expected to rise," the UN says.
What must be done to avert further climate change?
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) suggested earlier that to avert catastrophic health impacts, countries must work towards limiting global temperature rise to 1.5°C.
The Earth is now about 1.1°C warmer than it was in the 1800s, as per data by the UN and NASA. Now that challenge is: "We are not on track to meet the Paris Agreement target to keep the global temperature from exceeding 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels."
"Global heating of even 1.5°C is not considered safe, however; every additional tenth of a degree of warming will take a serious toll on people’s lives and health," the WHO says.
Another way to minimize the climate crisis is to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and renewable energy (sunlight, wind and water). Right now, the use of fossil fuels - coal, oil and gas - is at its peak. It causes harmful greenhouse gas emissions, such as carbon dioxide. However, renewable energy ensures "a safer, cleaner, and sustainable world".
Countries across the world have been carving out plans and policies and taking pledges to find a way to fight climate change. Now, this year's COP27 summit plays important in this regard. The climate summit, scheduled to take place in Egypt from November 6 to 18, will be more about "planning for implementation" for all the promises and pledges made to meet the target.
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