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Earth in Reverse Gear

  • Asheem Srivastav
Chapter
Part of the Advances in Geographical and Environmental Sciences book series (AGES)

Abstract

The 1972 Stockholm conference on the Human Environment acknowledged the negative effects of rapid industrialization post World War II. Subsequently, the effect of mining and burning of fossil fuels, manufacture and release of toxic chemicals and pollutants into air and water, destruction of forests, soil erosion, etc., was unambiguously brought on record by the Brundtland Commission in 1987 with a clear warning for humanity to either change its development strategy or be prepared to face the consequences in near future. Unfortunately, the situation has further worsened due to unchecked population growth, consumption pattern, use of fossil fuels and release of greenhouse gases, deforestation and pollution. There are incontrovertible evidences that temperatures today are more than 0.8 ℃ above pre-industrial levels and the sea level has been rising @3 mm per year. The world is currently witnessing frequent and severe natural disasters including droughts, floods, cyclones, fires and mudslides. Scientists have warned that in the event of temperature rising to 5 ℃ above pre-industrial levels, 50% of animal and plant species will become extinct, 30% of coastal wetlands would be inundated, terrestrial ecosystems will shift from ‘carbon sink’ to being ‘carbon source’, many small island states will suffer from storm surges, and nearly three billion people will be under severe water stress.

Keywords

Ozone layer Fossil fuels Natural disaster Acid rain IPCC Climate change Sea level rise Threatened ecosystems Receding glaciers Threatened species Greenhouse gases Drought and climate change Population growth and climate change Brundtland Commission 

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Indian Forest ServiceGandhinagarIndia

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