This post was written by CHMP Senior Fellow, Margaret (Peggy) Rafferty RN DNP MPH MA, is Chair, Department of Nursing and Associate Professor at New York City College of Technology and Michelle Cafaro Gellar, RN, MSN, MPH, is a Assistant Professor, Nursing and Course Coordinator at New York City College of Technology.
For those who have not noticed that we have had few problems with the weather lately please read on.
This week we had the headline news about the six rapidly melting glaciers in Antarctica explained in this video by NASA climatologist Drew Shindell, PhD that was posted on the Wall Street Journal’s News Hub.
This past January 2014, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published the report, Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis, that may help connect the dots. This 2,500 page report is the result of the combined effort of several hundred scientists from around the world.
The press release states it clearly. The report concludes, “Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, human influence on the climate system is clear, and limiting climate change will require substantial and sustained reductions of greenhouse gas emissions.”
The United Nations established the IPCC as an intergovernmental body with representative from countries around the world. It merged the forces of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Meteorological Organization WMO) to create this international body of experts.
The report outlines the acceleration of climate change and the need for immediate action from the world community. The consequences of our continued addiction to energy from fossil fuels and the resulting greenhouse gases are profound. Severe weather events, the extinction of species, coastal flooding with forced migration of populations, food shortages are just some of the catastrophic consequences of climate change that have a major impact on public health.
This new evidence reinforced what environmental advocates across the world have been saying for some time. The need for clean sustainable energy and conservation has never been more urgent and that the impact of climate change can be mitigated if aggressive action is taken immediately.