Assam teen hits back at Trump's global warming tweet

Astha Sarmah.

A teenager from Assam has taken on US President Donald Trump for his tweet mocking the phenomenon of global warming. On the mercury dropping to - 2 degree celsius on November 21 in Washington, Trump had tweeted “Brutal and Extended Cold Blast could shatter ALL RECORDS Whatever happened to Global Warming?” To it the 18-year old girl, identified as Astha Sarmah from Jorhat commented, “I am 54 years younger than you. I just finished high school with average marks. But even I can tell you that WEATHER IS NOT CLIMATE. If you want help understanding that, I can lend you my encyclopedia from when I was in 2nd grade. It has pictures and everything.”

The comment received over 24,000 ‘likes’ from across the world and Twitter users from the US appreciating the teenager for her reply to the US President. Some people even offered her an internship to study the effects of climate change on the Arabian Sea.

Global warming outpaces efforts to slow it

The UN on Tuesday said humanity is falling further behind in the race against climate change, with the gap between greenhouse gas emissions and levels needed to achieve the Paris climate treaty temperature goals continuing to widen.

With only a single degree Celsius of warming so far, the world has seen a crescendo of deadly wildfires, heatwaves and hurricanes. On current trends, temperatures are on track to rise roughly 4C by the century’s end, a scenario that would tear at the fabric of civilisation, scientists say.

To cap global warming at two degrees Celsius, national carbon-cutting pledges annexed to the 2015 Paris Agreement must collectively triple by 2030, according to the UN Environment Programme’s (UNEP) Emissions Gap report.

To hold the rise in Earth’s temperature to 1.5C above the pre-industrial benchmark, such efforts would have to increase fivefold.

“The emissions gap is much bigger than last year,” UNEP’s Philip Drost, one of several coordinators for the annual report’s ninth edition, told AFP.

One obvious reason was a spike last year in the quantity of carbon dioxide, methane and other planet-warming gases escaping into the atmosphere.

This trend is set to continue in 2018, which saw a jump in CO2 emissions from the energy sector, according to the International Energy Agency, as well as an increase in the atmospheric concentration of CO2. But the gap between where we are and where we need to be also grew on paper: new calculations by the UN’s top science panel sharply reduce the real-world potential for drawing CO2 out of the air, whether by planting more trees or capturing and storing CO2 emitted by power plants.

More broadly, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) special report released last month concluded that 2C of warming -- once seen as a safety guardrail -- would in fact usher in a maelstrom of deadly extreme weather.

Taken together, rising emissions and revised projections on CO2 removal have widened the emissions gap by 15% for a 2C world, and by nearly 70% for the 1.5C target, according to the new report.

The news comes despite breakneck growth in solar and wind power, gains in energy efficiency, and climate action by business and local governments, said Andrew Steer, president and CEO of the Washington DC-based World Resources Institute.

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Assam teen hits back at Trump's global warming tweet

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