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NRES 439 Environment and Sustainable Development

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  • No Melting Glaciers but Climate Change is at the Door

    Chennai is a city in India where I spent 14 years of my life has been receiving rainfall continuously for the past 1 month, and every year the amount of rainfall received is increasing. The article says in detail that if rains are persistent, it will affect the migration of birds, and eventually, so many things will be affected because of it, like a chain reaction. Rains affect the breeding timetable of the birds, which might crash their population level. There are no glaciers in and around Chennai to melt or even witness such dramatic conditions, but rainfall has been affecting birds from migration; because of the deluge, their nesting gets involved, and eventually, the chain of reactions gets affected. Some examples are fruits developing early, and insects are left with no food or find it difficult to feed all their young ones.

    There are avian studies from the west suggesting that some bird species are developing longer wingspans but shrinking in their overall size in response to a rise in temperature and the necessity of flying further for food. Birds require lighting and hormones for migration, and because of the continuous rainfall in Chennai, many birds are stuck here. 

    These may not look like serious issues that the world will catch up on or even consider serious problems, but these issues affect everything all together. This reminds me of planetary boundaries and how human activities affect the environment. Climate change is one of the planetary boundaries which has to be addressed. 

    The framework does describe that transgressing one or more planetary boundaries may be deleterious or even catastrophic due to the risk of crossing thresholds that will trigger non-linear, abrupt environmental change within continental-scale to planetary-scale systems. I feel that essential measures are taken as immediately as possible to limit the more minor issues and sort them out so that we do not face situations that we may not be able to deal with.