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30th Annual General Meeting will be held on 30th July, 2017 at K.P.Basu Memorial Hall, Jadavpur University. A seminar on PRESENT SCENARIO OF INDUSTRIALISATION OF THE EASTERN INDIA will be held on 29th July, 2017 at INDUMATI SABHAGRIHA, Jadavpur University. All the members are requested to attend theses programmes.

Resolution on Global Warming

 
The theme of 2007 world environment day observation was “Melting Ice: A Hot Topic”. It is a matter of vigorous discussions all over the world for almost past two decades. Our planet, the Earth is heating up quickly in recent times than ever. Glaciers are melting, sea levels are rising, forests and wildlife are in danger. Many species are claimed to be extinct as they could not keep pace with the erratic climatic changes caused by global warming. Although somewhat controversial, it is now generally believed that the warming in the past three centuries is due to our burning of fossil fuels which produce heat trapping greenhouse gases (GHGs). The “greenhouse effect” is the heating that takes place when certain gases in the Earth’s atmosphere trap heat. They (GHGs) are like the glass wall of a greenhouse which allow sunlight to fall on the earth surface but do not allow a part of the radiated heat to escape to the outer space beyond the atmosphere. In fact the greenhouse effect was discovered by the famous mathematician Joseph Fourier in 1824, who showed that the Earth would have been much cooler without its atmosphere and therefore would not have been livable.
 
The next most important discovery that provided tremendous impetus to the atmospheric and climate research was in 1895. Avante Arrhenius, the famous Swedish chemist showed that humans could enhance greenhouse effect by producing carbon dioxide. At present, identified important greenhouse gases are CO2, methane CH4, nitrous oxide N2O, chloro-fluro carbon (CFC), hydro-fluoro-carbon (HFC), perfluoro carbon (PFC) and sulpher-hexafluoride (SHF). Contribution to warming caused by CO2 is 49%, by methane is 18%, and by CFC is 14% by N2O is 6%. Water vapour and other gases cause about 13% warming. Levels of the GHGs in the atmosphere have varied, gone up and down over the history of the earth. But, until recently, their levels as well as the global average temperature have been fairly constant for the past 650000 years.
 
Through the burning of fossil fuels and other GHG emissions we are enhancing for the past 250 years, the greenhouse effect and the consequent warming of the earth. This is the key issue i.e. how much of the observed warming is anthropogenic and is still a subject of intense scientific debate.
 
It is also told that the actual global warming would have been much greater if there was no global dimming. Global dimming is caused by effectively shielding sun’s energy by a kind of cloud formed with pollutants in the air which are by-products of fossil fuel burning.
 
It is well known that the average global temperature and the level of CO2 have fluctuated on a cycle of hundreds of thousands year as the Earth’s position in its elliptic orbit relative to the sun has changed. In this way ice ages have appeared and gone. So far emissions of GHGs to the atmosphere have been balanced out by their natural absorption, keeping the level of GHG, and global temperature fairly stable. But after the industrial revolution humans have increased the amount of CO2 by more than 33%. Changes like this large amount have historically taken hundreds of thousands of years, but are now occurring over few decades. This is the main concern. The rapid growth of concentration in GHGs is a dangerous problem because it is changing the climate faster than the range some living animals or plants may be able to adopt. Chaotic climate changes are threat to all forms of life on the Earth. With the rise of global temperature ice sheets at Greenland and Antarctica are starting to melt and this will raise sea levels significantly. Not only that, climate changes in unexpected ways up to extremes may lead to more intense major storms, more rain followed by longer and drier droughts, loss of water supply that have historically come from glaciers and many more to be expected.
The concern over the issue led to the global climate treaty negotiated at the 1992 Rio de Janeiro “Earth Summit” and was the driving force behind United Nations efforts to force restrictions on the use of oil, gas and coal. Intergovernmental Panel on climate change (IPCC), the Science advisory group that advises UN on the global warming issue, already produced several assessment reports in 1990, 1997, 2001 and 2007. The famous Kyoto protocol originated in a meeting in Kyoto, Japan, in December 1997, urged the industrialized countries to reduce their combined emissions of six major GHGs during the period 2008-2012 to below 1990 levels. So far 140 countries have ratified the accord. United States (USA) and Australia did not sign. US accounts for about 24% of global CO2 emissions, about twice that of China, the second highest. Developed countries together accounts for 55%. European Union, Japan and Russia made considerable progress to cut emissions. The attitude of the developed countries, particularly the United States is not favourable for the developing and under developed countries. Their policy is effectively to stop industrialization of the developing and under developed countries.
On this international social, political and scientific background we therefore propose that, 
  1. Although the fear of global warming is real, rate of warming and how much of the warming is anthropogenic should be judged with much scientific care. While the danger of the problem should be focused and conveyed to the people, but no panic and rumour should be propagated. 
  1. We should be aware of the fact that there might be many organizations and institutions with bad intensions of short/long term business and political gain and to serve imperialists’ interests. Any kind of resistance against modernization and industrialization based on fictitious fear and rumour, should be fought scientifically. 
  1. The problem of global warming should be studied from a more rigorous scientific point of view taking into account the process of global dimming. Global warming and dimming should be considered together to make more realistic assessment of the warming rate and time scales and effective remedial measures should be suggested in time to the people and policy makers. Some remedial measures easily understandable by applying common sense are obviously to reduce luxury and wastage in every sphere of daily life. Particularly, some reduction of luxury and wastages by the developed countries will be beneficial for the developing and under developed countries in fighting the warming and consequential natural calamities.

Resolution on Global Warming



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