#8 Days to Resilient Cities Asia-Pacific: Resilient Cities Asia-Pacific and the one-degree hypothesis

Post by Sharon Ferdinands, ICLEI South Asia

According to an ongoing temperature analysis conducted by scientists at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), the average global temperature on Earth has increased by about 0.8° Celsius (1.4° Fahrenheit) since 1880. Two-thirds of the warming has occurred since 1975, at a rate of roughly 0.15-0.20°C per decade. That’s approximately one degree of warming! You might wonder why you should care about a mere one degree of warming. Here’s why you should.

A one degree global change is significant because it takes a vast amount of heat to warm all the oceans, atmosphere, and land by that much. We have witnessed in the past that a one- to two-degree drop was all it took to plunge the Earth into the little ice age. A five-degree drop was enough to bury a large part of North America under an immense mass of ice 20,000 years ago. Since the year 2000, warming of the ocean surface has been largest over the Arctic Ocean closely followed by the Indian and Pacific Oceans.

150202_BKK6As a result, now even the slightest jump in temperatures could trigger events that would accelerate global warming, which could easily go out of control. This is the time when we can and we should act. We have seen in the recent past lands being covered by sea, volcanic eruptions, destroyed coral reefs and reduced polar ice caps. We have seen the loss of life, property and myriad memories. It takes merely a few seconds for everything to get damaged, but an entire lifetime to revive what has been lost.

Resilient Cities Asia-Pacific 2015 Congress comes to the podium at a time when action is most needed. It’s the perfect platform for local city representatives, technical experts, analysts and researchers to meet, discuss, learn, and share ideas and initiatives to work together towards the mutual goal of building resilience in our cities and making them more livable. The Congress paves the way for a more resilient future for the Asia-Pacific and will be replete with takeaways for city representatives.

The will of the people and support from the Urban Local Bodies is all it takes for an idea to be implemented into a noteworthy action. Be there at Resilient Cities Asia-Pacific 2015 and witness change, witness hope… all for the sake of that one-degree!

Click here for more information on the event.