AN ARTICLE ON CLIMATE CHANGE IN GHANA

Written By: AFFUL JIREH

In recent times, climate change has been a topical issue which has generated a lot of concern in our country, Ghana. Climate change is the long- term alteration of temperature and typical weather patterns in a place. Climate change could refer to a particular location or the planet as a whole.

The main long-term impact of climate change includes; changing rainfall patterns, causing a reduction in agriculture production and reducing food security, worsening water security, decreasing aquatic resources in large lakes due to rising temperature, and shifting vector-borne disease. The scientists at NASA have observed that the earth’s surface is warming and many of the warmest years on record have happened in the past 20 years.

It was recorded in the daily guide newspaper that about 70 percent of Ghanaians are the reason why climate change keeps on increasing in the country. For example, a person who is always driving an old car with  a leaking exhaust pipe always pollute the air by introducing new chemicals into the atmosphere which consist of carbon dioxide which destroys the ozone layer, leading to climate change.

The previous governments and the current government under the leadership of his Excellency Nana Addo Dankwah Akuffo Addo have tried in diverse ways, to curb his menace without success.  The following are some of the causes of climate change.

To set the ball rolling, one of the major causes of climate change is bush burning. Bush burning is the removal of the natural vegetation cover that protects the soil surface through the use of fire. This exposes the land to the effect of wind, water erosion, and ultraviolet radiation. It involves the production of air pollution such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, etc. in the form of dust, fume, and mist, and smoke introduced into the atmosphere to cause climate change.

Again, another major contributing factor that causes climate change is deforestation (cutting down trees). Trees help to regulate the climate by absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. And when they are cut down, that beneficial effect is lost and the carbon stored in the trees is released into the atmosphere adding to the greenhouse effect. We all bear witness in our country that the forest stores large amounts of carbon. Trees and other plants absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as they grow.

This is converted into carbon and stored in plant branches, leaves, trunks, and roots, and the soil. Whilst forest is important carbon sinks meaning they draw carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, the carbon stored in the sink is part of an active, relatively quick carbon cycle. This also brings about climate change.

Moreover, one major cause of climate change is the burning of oil, coal, and gas. When oil, coal, and gas are burnt it releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, contributing to the warming of our planet. Fossil fuels produce large quantities of carbon dioxide when burned. Carbon emission traps heat in the atmosphere and leads to climate change.

To draw down the curtains, one other cause of climate change is farming livestock. Climate change is a threat to livestock production because of the impact on the quality of crop and forage, water availability, animal and milk production, livestock diseases, animal reproduction. This study reviews the global impact of climate change on livestock production.

However, in the light of the causes aforementioned, the following recommendations can be proposed to the government for implementation.

Firstly, old vehicles in the system should be denied access to our national roads by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) especially with vehicles that have a problem in the exhaust pipe to reduce poisonous gas which may cause more than harm than good to us and also which will cause climate change.

Secondly, people should reside in places closer to their workplace. Since transportation is the leading source of greenhouse gas emission in Ghana. Burning a single gallon of gasoline produces about 20 pounds of carbon dioxide. But it does not have to be that way. So Ghanaians should try to stay closer to their work to reduce climate change through low demand for transport.

Thirdly, another solution which can be made to reduce climate change is that we should try to stop cutting trees. Cutting down trees without afforestation must be abolished.

Afful Jireh

St. James J.H.S

Sunyani, Bono



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