Love May Warm Up, But Not Earth

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Aerial photo of the forest in Friwen Village, Raja Ampat Regency, West Papua Province (EcoNusa Foundation/Moch. Fikri)

Love and affection that warm up are a mesmerizing show to watch and learn. The line here is not inspired by dialogues from teenagers who are in love on a film. It is not even inspired by mental condition during the sentence making. It is not even for other purposes. 

When love and affection are warming up, it is likely that we will feel happiness and gratitude to the Almighty God. Feeling love is a priceless grace. On contrary, it would be sad and even dreadful if the earth temperature is heating up. The heating up earth will only spark disaster to mankind.

Based on data from the Ministry of Environment and Forestry’s Climate Change Mitigation Director General, the rising earth temperature will have significant impact for climate system. It affects all aspects in nature change and human life such as water quality and quantity, habitat, forest, health, agriculture and coastal ecosystem. 

The US-based National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) released a report on the average global temperature of earth in 2020. The report shows the rising temperature by 1.02 Celsius degree which is warmer than that of in 1951-1980. 

Perhaps we imagine that the increasing earth temperature might not possibly happen amidst the Covid-19 pandemic which spreads out around the globe since early 2020. Many kinds of activities bring to a halt, economy slows down, energy burning declines. However, a study published by Earth System Science Data journal shows that Covid-19 pandemic contributes to the declining carbon dioxide emission by 7 percent, which is deemed the highest emission drop since the Second World War. But, in fact the concentration of overall carbon dioxide continues to rise despite the emission drop. 

In addition to NASA, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has the similar inference that 2020 is deemed the second hottest year after 2016. The rising earth temperature in 2016 was driven by intensive El Nino. But the earth temperature in 2020 is not driven by the similar phenomenon. The increasing greenhouse gas is indeed the major cause. In other word, greenhouse gas in the atmosphere plays bigger role to heat up the earth temperature.

Meanwhile, upon analyzing data from six temperature monitoring institutes, Carbon Brief inferred that 2020 is the hottest year along history. In this year, the average temperature of earth surface has increased by 0.10 Celsius degree as from the temperature in 2018.

The surge of earth temperature does not only create heat air and more sweat all over the body. The rising earth temperature brings about some implications as it causes the loss of ice cover and ice on the North and South Poles. The rising sea level that will wipe out small islands, heat wave and shift of flora and fauna habitat are among the major implications.

Extreme weather phenomenon is also one of the implications of the mounting earth temperature due to global warming. Extreme weather causes flood, landslide, cyclone to high wave as recently happened to East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) and claimed more than 138 lives is the living example. The disaster is deemed rare phenomenon due to global warming.

Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) explains that extreme weather in NTT occurred due to three factors, namely Seroja Tropical Cyclone, air humidity and wind speed. Seroja tropical cyclone is rare phenomenon and even the first time happened in NTT and West Nusa Tenggara (NTB). Tropical cyclone commonly is established above the sea and never enters the mainland. But Seroja tropical storm was formed on the mainland of Kupang. 

BMKG records that tropical cyclone storm occurs every 2-4 year as that happened in 2008, 2010, and 2014. Since 2017, intensity of cyclone has been on the rise and it could appear once or twice a year. BMKG calls people to stay alert and be prepared for mitigation as cyclone will become a routine phenomenon every year.

If the condition continues to happen, a sad prediction said by a noted figure in the world may come true. Naturalists David Attenborrough in his autobiography, Life on Our Plane, forecasted global turmoil of war  due to trespassing country boundaries in search of shelter from extreme temperature, crop failure and massive starvation. 

To prevent it from happening, Bill Gates proposes the use of technology and innovation by shifting from fossil energy, reducing meat consumption which will prevent forests from land use change into animal husbandry. The United Nations recommends anyone to plant as many as possible tree as a preventive method of global warming that could be done by anyone. 

In addition to growing trees as many as possible, it is also imperative to safeguard the existing primary forests ecosystem. Good news in early the year comes from West Papua Province. The results of an evaluation of 24 palm oil estate license holders in the province could eventually save 383,431.05 hectares forests-covered regions. 

The license review here refers to the Presidential Instruction No. 8/2018 on Suspension of Forest Clearance for Palm Oil Estate, National Initiative to Save Natural Resources ignited by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK), and Manokwari Declaration.  

Primary forests in Tanah Papua are deemed the last frontier in Indonesia to curb the pace of global warming. The density of forest cover does not only keep carbon dioxide, but also serves as the home for millions of creatures. For flora category, Tanah Papua and Papua New Guinea are on the top with the highest biodiversity in the world.

Every 22nd of April, we commemorate the World Earth Day. This year, the theme is Restore Our Earth. There are many ways we can do to restore earth so as to survive our one and only dwelling to live. Defending Indonesian forests is the concrete action to prevent earth from ecological catastrophe in the near future.

Editor: Leo Wahyudi

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