Prof P. K. Jena in Bhubaneswar, December 28, 2017: the ‘One Planet Summit’ was held at Paris on 12th December 2017 to discuss and find out ways and means to “Make Our Planet Great Again”. In the Summit, a large number of countries were represented to find out the ways and means to solve the global warming problems.

Since the middle of 20th century with the rapid industrialization and urbanization, the earth’s atmosphere is getting warmer very fast due to release of huge quantities of ‘Green House Gases’ (GHG). These gases consist of carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, methane, chlorofloro carbon, oxides of nitrogen and sulpher, those other substances responsible for forming ozen gas and fine particulate matters etc.

These poisonous gases and fine particles are mostly released from thermal power plants, industries and transport systems due to burning of coal and fossil fuels. Rapid deforestation and use of unscientific farming methods also contribute significantly to global warming. The global warming is being accelerated in recent years because of rapid increase of above mentioned human activities. It is estimated that, about three degree Celsius increase of temperature of earth atmosphere is taking place every one hundred years.

The global warming is causing a lot of disasters on the planet. The rising of temperature on the earth surface leads to change in wind circulation, affecting immensely the rain fall and its distribution. Further, the frequency and intensity of rainfall are changing from region to region. As a result, there is going to be a great alternation in types of vegetative growth, agricultural productivity and also growth and types of forests.

It has been estimated that, one degree celsius rise in temperature shifts vegetation zone by 200 Km towards the pole of our planet. Due to increasing global warming there may be also a considerable shift in cultivation zones. The global warming has already caused significant rise in sea level and during the last 100 years a rise in sea level by 15 to 20 cm has been experienced. It is apprehended that, by the end of this century, the sea water level may rise to about 100 cm. This will happen due to both expansion of water because of increase in temperature and also addition of more water due to melting of continental glaciers.

One meter will result in disappearance of millions of acres of coastal land, many cities, large areas of fertile agricultural land, harbors and also many small islands. The toxic gases present in the atmosphere are also responsible for the appearance of various types of deadly diseases including cancer, asthma, eye diseases etc. As a result, these are already affecting a large number of people and causing untimely death of millions irrespective of rich or poor.

Each and every nation, human being, plant and animal on this planet are going to suffer and perish by the green house gases causing global warming if nothing substantial is done form now onwards to minimise these. In view of this alarming situation, it is necessary to take urgent steps to abate and mitigate global warming. In this regard, some suggestions are given below.

1) Reducing the use of fossil fuels as much as possible and releasing to the atmosphere the minimum amounts of greenhouse gases and particulate matters in the industrial, transport and domestic sectors,
2) Harnessing and using increasing amounts of renewable energy sources like solar, biomass, wind, small hydro power and nuclear for various purposes,
3) Applying better technology for conservation and judicious utilization of fossil fuel based energy resources and thus releasing less amounts of GHG,
4) Greening the areas around rivers and other water bodies, mining, industrial, barren rural and urban areas, road sides etc., through large scale plantation of fast growing and commercial species,
5) Keeping the land and water bodies free from wastes and effluents like domestic, commercial and agro wastes materials, urban sewage, human excreta, animal dung etc., and
6) Protecting the people from extreme weather events and outbreaks of infectious diseases through immunization and timely health care.

The global warming cannot be confined to any specific area or country. It is unfortunate that recently some influential and rich countries are giving very little importance to the menace of the disastrous global warming. All nations should realize the gravity of the situation and be united in taking different steps to abate and mitigate the global warming in order to Make Our Planet Clean and Green Again.

(Former Director General, Council of Scientific & Industrial Research, India)