As the temperature continues to soar in the Northern hemisphere, meteorologists are warning of record heat waves. In the past few years, the rising temperature has led to disastrous heat waves in nations such as Spain, India, Pakistan, and so on that have even lead to casualties. Change of seasons, whether it is autumn, winter, spring or summer, is one of the natural phenomena of the environment. But it is worrisome that lately countries worldwide are seeing instances of extreme weather such as heat waves putting the ecosystem at an increasing risk.
We, as humans, are here in this earth because we have learnt to adapt to the environment. We have learnt to master the physical environment in the extreme heat of the desert, the freezing cold of the mountains, or the humidity of the amazons. It is extraordinary that mankind has learnt innovative ways to overcome extreme temperatures.
People continue to trek mountains, and even Arctic and Antarctic in the extreme cold. They also travel to deserts where there is blazing heat. Both are on the opposite extreme that makes the body revolt with unease and yet, people revel in travelling to such areas defying the climate. Could it be the thrill of doing the impossible? Or could it be to test the limits of the human body?
As such, it is remarkable how adaptable the human body is. The ideal human body temperature is 37 degree Celsius. Any changes in the optimal body temperature will cause changes in physiology. But the body can regulate its temperature only to an extent which is why both severe hyperthermia and hypothermia are perilous. However, it isn’t just human body that is more or less adaptable. Animals and plants too change their physiology according to their environment. One of the survival tactics of living species, whether it is a plant, a bird or a human being, is to adjust the body physiology according to the environment.
One can see animals growing thicker furs in winter during which they resort to hibernation.
Meanwhile, in the hotter climate, they perspire, burrow underground, or migrate to cooler temperature. These behavioural patterns have ensured their survival.
And survival is one of the basic instincts of any life forms. Today, one can hear of plants and animals adapting to global warming. For example, some species of fish have been altering their metabolism in response to the rising ocean temperature. However, not all life forms can adapt according to the escalating climate change which is why many species are at the brink of extinction.
It is one of the many reasons why climate action is so necessary and it has to start not in the near future but as soon as possible. The sooner the climate change is tackled with preventive and mitigation measures, the better will be the chances to protect the environment, ecosystem and ultimately humans. And given that it is humans who have instigated the current climate change, they must shoulder the responsibility of climate action.
The mercury will be rising further in the coming days in the Northern hemisphere bringing with it risks of possible heat waves. Tackling such deteriorating climate must be an utmost priority of nations and organisations worldwide to ensure the future survival of all life forms on earth.