Climate Change Current Affairs

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NASA: May 2017 is the second hottest month in 137 years 

According to NASA, May 2017 was the second hottest month in a span of 137 years when modern record-keeping of average global temperatures had commenced.

The temperature of May 2017 was 0.88 degrees Celsius warmer than the mean May temperature from 1951-1980.

May 2016 is the hottest on record with 0.93 degrees Celsius warmer than the May mean temperature.

May 2017 temperature was 0.05 degrees Celcius cooler than the temperature recorded in May 2016. It was only 0.01 degrees Celsius warmer than the third warmest May, which occurred in 2014.

Background

NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) does the monthly analysis of global temperature by analysing the publicly available data acquired by about 6,300 meteorological stations around the world, ship- and buoy-based instruments measuring sea-surface temperature, as well as from the Antarctic research stations. The modern global temperature record commenced around the year 1880.

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Paris Climate Deal: US to Withdraw

President Donald Trump has announced that the United States is set to withdraw from the historic 2015 Paris Accord as the accord was hurting his country and economy very badly. However, he has said that he is open for a “new transaction” on terms that are fair to the US.

With the decision to pull out, the United States will join the short list of countries including Syria and Nicaragua that are not a part of the Paris Accord which has been signed by 195 countries in 2015. The Paris Agreement on Climate Change came into effect in November last year.

Reasons

Donald Trump has held that the deal was not tough enough on India and China.  

According to Trump, Paris Accord was unfair to the United States. He has held that implementation of Paris Accord would adversely impact the paper, cement, iron and steel, coal, and natural gas sectors of the American economy. It would also inflict a loss of $3 trillion in GDP, loss of 6.5 million industrial jobs and $7,000 less in annual income for American households.

Implications

Being the world’s second biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, the exit of United States from the accord have raised questions about the fate of the accord. There are also fears that some more reluctant countries may also follow the steps of US in quitting the climate deal.

As per the various estimates provided by entities like Climate Interactive and Climate Action Tracker, if US doesn’t reach its Paris Accord goal, then an additional 0.1 to 0.3 degrees Celsius will be added to global warming by 2100.

With the exit of the US, China and EU are set to announce an alliance to take on a leadership role determined to protect the Paris Accord.

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April 22: Earth Day

Earth Day is celebrated every year on April 22. It was first celebrated in 1970, and since then it is celebrated in more than 193 countries by over a billion people every year. Earth Day celebrations are coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network.

Earth Day 2017’s Campaign is Environmental & Climate Literacy. Environmental and climate literacy was chosen as it is important for creating green voters and advancing environmental and climate laws and policies across the globe as well as to accelerate green technologies and jobs.

Earth Day

Every year Earth Day is being observed on the 22nd April to build support for environmental protection around the world. It aims to encourage people to carry out activities that will benefit the Earth, such as recycling more, using solar power or plant trees.

Earth Day celebrations are a way to remind humans of environmental deterioration caused by them and advise them to turn off the electronic devices that are not in use or taking public transport to reduce the emission levels. It recognises that Earth and its ecosystems provide its inhabitants with life and sustenance. It also aims to raise awareness that humans have a collective responsibility to promote harmony with nature and to balance the economic, social and environmental needs of present and future generations.

The concept of observing Earth Day was formally proposed by John McConnell at a UNESCO conference on Environment in 1969. Later in 1971, a proclamation was signed to observe international Earth Day annually on the Vernal Equinox by UN Secretary-General U Thant.

On Earth Day 2016, historic Paris Agreement on Climate Change was signed. The agreement is legally binding on signatory countries to limit global temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius.

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