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Mon 22 December 2014
29 Safar 1436 AH  

Introduction
Consequences of global warming
Impact on Muslim countries
International issues
Muslim's duty towards the environment
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  CONSEQUENCES OF GLOBAL WARMING

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) expects that the average global surface temperature could rise 1-4.5°F (0.6-2.5°C) in the next fifty years, and 2.2-10°F (1.4-5.8°C) in the next century, with significant regional variation.

  • Tropical perturbations
The global warming could lead to an increase in the formations and movements of tropical perturbations (typhoons, hurricanes) towards higher latitudes. This trend has already been observed in many places of the world and the recent floods in Iran and India could be a consequence of it even if it is really difficult to establish a genuine relation between a specific event and the global warming. An increase in the frequency and intensity of these cyclones or more generally, the modification of the storm routes could lead to floods or storm surges which could submerge coastal zones and especially archipels. This trend is now established and climatic hazards from tropical origins are probably going to be more and more frequent in the middle latitudes.

  • Sea level rise

Global warming leads naturally to a sea level rise as the ice caps melt slowly under the action of increased temperatures. The phenomenon is also increased by the ozone hole above the Antarctic which allows the ultra-violet radiations to come directly on the southern pole. Normally, these radiations should be stopped by the atmosphere but the increased proportion of greenhouse gases created this hole. However, the rise of the average sea level is especially provoked by the expansion of the surface waters than by the melting of the ice caps and the Alpine glaciers.
Forecasts are really difficult to make as the oceans are still not completely understood by the scientists (a so huge mass of water has still unpredicted reactions and evolutions) but the current estimations forecast predict a rise between 21 and 74 cm by 2100. A lot of low-landed countries are thus concerned by the problem. Unfortunately, all those countries are not equal in front of this problem. For example, the Netherlands will have the economic means to protect their land by coastal defence constructions whereas Bangladesh, which is already often affected by severe floods, will not be able to react properly and will probably see major areas of its territory submerged by the sea. We can here speak about a real geographic problem as the natural disaster is amplified by the powerlessness of the country.

  • Malaria and Dengue Fever

Malaria

Approximately 270 million people suffer from malaria and 1 to 2 million people die from it yearly, while over 2 billion people are considered at risk of contracting the disease. Malaria generally extends only to places where the minimum winter temperature reaches no lower than 64.4ºF(18ºC). Small outbreaks now occurring north and south of tropical regions are consistent with model projections of potential shifts of conditions conducive to transmission. In the United States, locally transmitted malaria occurred in the 1990s during particularly hot, humid periods in California (as in the ‘80s), as well as in New Jersey, New York, Texas, Georgia, Florida, Michigan, Virginia and Toronto, Canada. One study suggests that the area that could sustain malaria transmission would increase from 45% of the globe to 60%, if atmospheric levels of greenhouse gases reach concentrations equivalent to a doubling of CO2 since the industrial revolution.

Dengue fever

Dengue fever is a prolonged, severe flu-like illness, which in certain forms can be fatal. Unlike yellow fever (caused by a related virus and spread by the same mosquito) there is no vaccine for dengue fever. The mosquitoes that carry dengue fever (Aedes aegypti) are also limited by temperature. Frost kills adult mosquitoes and larvae and is therefore an important limiting factor for spread. Consistent with predictions associated with warming in mountain regions, dengue fever is now being reported at higher elevations at 1240 meters in Central America and 1700 meters in Mexico. The mosquito vector has been reported at 2200 meters in the Colombian Andes. Dengue fever may also be moving south, as its presence in northern Argentina and Australia suggest. Dengue fever (DF) and dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) now occur regularly in Asia and throughout Latin America. DF and DHF are among the more alarming of the resurging diseases, according to public health organizations, because of their epidemic nature and the lack of a vaccine.

  • Ecological Impacts: Predators and Prey

Climate plays a role in maintaining the balance among predators and their prey and the ratios of these “functional groups” of species as natural biological controls over pests and pathogens (infectious disease agents).
For example, owls, coyotes and snakes help regulate populations of rodents involved in the transmission of Lyme disease, hantaviruses, arenaviruses (hemorrhagic fevers), leptospirosis and human plague. Likewise, freshwater fish, reptiles, birds and bats limit the abundance of mosquitos, some of which carry malaria, yellow fever, dengue fever and encephalitis.
Reduction and fragmentation of habitat worldwide is reducing predator populations. Excessive reliance on pesticides can kill “friendly” insects and predators. Global warming and increased climate variability can also disrupt biological systems that have evolved over millennia, and which act to control the populations of opportunistic, “nuisance organisms.”

Introduction Impact on Muslim countries











 


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