Groups back climate actions against extreme heat conditions
They urged Nigerians and people in the Sub-Saharan Africa region, to halt acts that constantly pollute the air, adopt more of alternative energy sources and invest in economic trees to protect the earth from extreme heat conditions.
Latest study published last week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by an international team of archaeologists, climate scientists and ecologists said that if heat-trapping greenhouse gas emissions continue at the current pace, by 2070, billions of people would be living in conditions hotter than those that have allowed life to thrive for the past 6,000 years.
Using data on historical global temperatures and the distribution of human populations, the researchers found that just like other species of animals, humans thrive best within a narrow climatic envelope around the world.
The study observed that the earth is currently on track for 3°C of warming by 2100 stressing that land areas are warming faster than the oceans, temperatures experienced by humans are likely to rise by about 7.5°C by 2070 and it could have severe consequences for food production, access to water sources, increase conflicts and disruption caused by migration. It states that if the planet continues to warm at current levels over the next 50 years, up to 3 billion people could be living in areas that are too hot for humans.
Most of the world’s population lives in areas with a mean annual temperature of between 11 and 15 degrees Celsius (51.8 to 59 degrees Fahrenheit).
For thousands of years, humans have lived within a narrow “climate niche” where average temperatures are ideal for society to flourish, and conditions favourable to grow food and keep livestock.
Reacting, a renowned environmentalist and Chairman of Lagos State Urban Forest and Animal Shelter Initiative (LUFASI), Desmond Majekodunmi said if people continue with the spate of greenhouse gas emissions, the result on the environment would be more catastrophic, stressing that it was important to listen to scientific predictions because human doesn’t have much time any longer to reverse impacts of climate change.
To reverse the global warming and climate change problem, he said, there is a need to stop the continuous pollution of the air with carbon monoxide and methane. This, he stated means adopting a natural energy system using the sunlight, wind and water.
“We have to embark on massive tree planting. Our president has already indicated that Nigeria will plant 25 million trees this year, it’s not enough but a good start. We have to tie the tree planting to the only hope that Nigeria has to survive by reviving our agriculture sector. The reason for the two-third green of Nigeria flag is that at the time of independence, Nigeria was an agriculture nation with all the potentials to survive as a people.”
“The vast majority of the trees to be planted must be agriculture/economy trees that yield fruits like palm trees, mango trees, avocado and others depending on the geological zones. Because of the urgency of the situation, it should involve all the youth corps, the school students across all levels, military forces who must be on the field as part of tree planting processes”, he said.
Majekodunmi observed that in the effort at ensuring socio-economic development especially, infrastructural growth, existing life support systems must not be destroyed.
He warned that destroying the life support system would amount to an illusion of development. adding that authorities have to factor in sustainability and weigh whether it will impact in a negative way on the environment.
The Founder of Fight Against Desert Encroachment (FADE), Dr. Newton Chukwukadibia Jibunoh, said the warning points to the Paris agreement on climate change long-term goal, initiated by over 198 countries to keep the increase in global average temperature to well below two degrees centigrade above pre-industrial levels, which Nigeria was a signatory to.
According to him, if the findings are in line with the Paris agreement, then it has emphasised the need to pursue efforts to limit the increase in temperature to 1.5-degree centigrade and recognise that this would substantially reduce risks and impacts of climate change on the people.
He noted that if raging disease like CoVID-19 doesn’t wipe off human race completely before the predicted years, efforts should be made at reducing emissions as soon as possible.
“I have been writing and talking about the extinct of human race, if coronavirus should go the way it evolving without containment, there would be nothing left of the human race. I didn’t agree with the conspiracy theory that a lot of people are putting forward, saying that it is coming from China or from animal to human.
“I didn’t buy into all those ones. I made it absolutely clear that its nature that is reacting and that it’s nature that has given us the air. What we have today is in the air and it is going to get to everybody but depends on what your immune system is able to handle”, he said.