Although the Paris Agreement on Climate Change entered into force on November 4 (marking the first time that governments of different countries have agreed legally binding limits to global temperature rises), leading international scientists are still worried about global warming.

Scientists have reported that climate change affects everything – from tiny genes to entire ecosystems. Issuing a fresh warning to the global community, they have said that 82% key ecological processes – genetic diversity and migration pattern – are being altered by global warming.

As per a report prepared after studying 94 ecological processes that underpin the functioning of healthy ecosystems, lands and oceans are being badly affected, though temperatures have risen just about 1 degree Celsius over pre-industrial times from fossil fuel burning.
The report, published recently in the ‘Science’ journal, further reveals that individual genes are also changing, with scientists noticing significant shifts in species’ physiology and physical features, such as body size are being observed and species are moving to entirely new areas.

Brett Scheffers, the senior member of the International Union for Conservation of Nature Climate Change Specialist Group, has said that the more ecosystems change, the less likely that may be to guard as against the harshest effects of climate change. According to Scheffers, unhealthy forests would not be able to sequester carbon. He further said that increasingly warm oceans would not act as an effective buffer against temperature rise and climate-related floods, sea-level rise and cyclones would get worse.

Researchers have also predicted that these changes will affect humans by causing disease outbreaks, inconsistent crop yields and threatening food security. Now, it is dangerous as people depend on healthy ecosystems for food and clean water. Researchers have pointed out that the changes they are seeing now were earlier not expected for decades.

So, now may be a good time for the international community to worry about climate change and global warming.

Koushik Das, based in the Indian capital of New Delhi, is a senior news editor with more than 15 years of experience. He also runs a blog – Boundless Ocean of Politics. E-Mail: [email protected]