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How emissions intensify the climate change crisis

Environment
 Greenhouse gases include carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxides, and water vapour. [iStockphoto]

The world is grappling with a climate change crisis, and a major factor intensifying this challenge is the emission of greenhouse gases.

These gases, such as carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4), trap heat in the Earth's atmosphere, leading to rising temperatures and disruptive weather patterns.

"Greenhouse gas emissions act like a blanket around the planet, trapping heat and causing the Earth's temperature to rise," explains Kisumu County Director of Climate Change, Evans Gichana emphasises, "The more emissions we release into the atmosphere, the thicker this 'blanket' becomes, resulting in more severe and frequent climate events."

Gichana's concerns are echoed by Rosemary Owigar, a climate change expert and lecturer at Maseno University.

He says, "Emissions from human activities, such as burning fossil fuels for energy and deforestation, are releasing massive amounts of CO2 and other gases. These emissions are pushing the planet's climate system out of balance and driving changes that are already affecting ecosystems and communities."

The impact of emissions on the climate is particularly evident in the rapid melting of glaciers and ice caps, rising sea levels, and the intensification of extreme weather events like hurricanes and droughts. "The link between emissions and these events is undeniable," states Gichana.

"Cutting emissions means reducing the amount of heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere, allowing the Earth to cool down over time," says Gichana.

"It's like turning down the dial on a heater to prevent overheating." Owigar adds, "Transitioning to cleaner sources of energy and adopting sustainable land-use practices are essential steps to reducing emissions. This not only benefits the climate but also helps create a more resilient and livable planet for future generations."

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