In the middle of our convenient lifestyle, entering into 5G era, we need to compensate it with enormous use of natural resources to produce electrical power to supply and maintain huge size of digital data which tends to increase endlessly. In this past few years till now, natural disasters tend to be more severe (The example is Typhoon Hagibis that recently caused Japan’s destruction.)  It is a consequence of global warming, so saving our earth’s climate is a world’s important issue, just like what Intergovernmental Panel on climate Change (IPCC), a division under United Nations (UN), confirmed that the world’s temperature will continuously increase due to greenhouse gases produced by the hands of humans.  If the world’s temperature increases by another 2 degree Celsius, there is a chance that Arctic glacier will melt within just 10 years. But if the world’s temperature increases a bit lesser by 1.5 degree Celsius, we can prolong the melting time of arctic glacier to be one century instead of 10 years.

That is why, this article gathered the important impacts of global warming, which is in crisis, in term of environment and point out to those impacts which many may still feel they are too far away. However, they are actually much closer to you than you think.

Firstly, global warming clearly affects glaciers such as Okjokull glacier that quickly and already melted down in Iceland. Oddur Sigurdsson, an Icelandic geologist announced Okjokull glacier extinction in 2014 because the glacier was very small that it cannot move anymore. On August 18th, 2019, Cymene Howe and Dominic Boyer, anthropology professors from Rice University, Texas created a Okjokull’s monument, the first Icelandic glacier to lose its status with the following message both in English and Icelandic: “Okjokull is the first Icelandic glacier to lose its status as a glacier. In the next 200 years all our glaciers are expected to follow the same path. This monument is to acknowledge that we know what is happening and what needs to be done. Only you know if we did it” with the indication of “415 ppm CO2,” which means the highest amount of CO2 ever recorded in history.

Besides, scientists believe more than 400 pieces of Icelandic glaciers will be gone by 2200. In addition to that, glaciers on Himalaya Mountain are melting almost half meter per year, and it is a very rapid melting rate since the beginning of 21st century.  This leads to the possibility that the movie “2012” about the end of the world may become real faster than we thought.

Secondly, global warming causes natural disasters to happen more severe and frequent, especially tropical storm.  It is a storm that occurs in the ocean near the equator with the highest wind speed between 64 to 118 kilometer per hour, a diameter of more than 100 kilometer and the temperature higher than 26.5 degree Celsius.  So, it is certain that when earth’s temperature increases, tropical storm will often occur in the ocean near the equator.  Therefore, global warming is a factor contributing to tropical storm that we cannot inevitably avoid.

For Thailand in 2019 in Southeastern around the beginning of January, we were hit with Tropical Storm Pabuk. And with our climate not anymore the same, recently around end of August until September, Northeastern encountered with Tropical Storm Podul, which was then followed by Tropical Storm Kajiki.  People in Northeastern had bad living situation.  Thailand now had faced with a total of three tropical storms in 2019 (It is uncertain in the future that how many more we have to face).

Lastly, global warming directly affects global climate. It is a situation we need to confront, especially  farmers who inevitably stake their lives on global warming.  Rice Science Center and Rice Gene Discovery Unit, Kasetsart University have confirmed that global warming is officially here because rice fields in many areas are affected by global warming with 45% decrease in Jasmin rice production.  Farmers can clearly feel the effects of climate instability and untimely season.

In addition, global warming’s effect on in-season rice fields does not happened only in Thailand because in-season rice fields, which are the fields that cover a huge area along Mekong River from Myanmar to Vietnam, need to wait for the rainfall only for their cultivation.  Farmers interchangeably encounter severe drought and heavy flood.  Moreover, the increase in temperature is an obstacle to pollination process that causes stamen to become sterile, and that is the reason why rice production has been drastically decreased in the global warming situation.  With these phenomenon, we can forecast how will our food stability in the future be.

Is it already the time that we need change ourselves by sacrificing our comfortable life, avoid using plastic, deleting irrelevant digital data and reducing unnecessary internet usage in exchange of our next generation future and for the world’s environment?


Article by Dr. Jitikan Jinarak

About the writer: Dr. Jitikan Jinarak is a staff member of the Research Institute for Languages and Culture of Asia, Mahidol University. Currently she is in charge of Thai music education, teaching Thai culture to international students and conducting research on cultural and environmental studies.

She graduated with a degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Environmental Education, Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, Graduate School, Mahidol University. She got her Master of Arts in Cultural Studies, Research Institute for Languages and Culture for Rural Development, Graduate School, Mahidol University. She completed her Bachelor of Education in Thai Classical Music, Faculty of Dramatic Arts and Music, Rajamangala Institute of Technology.