Warning of Nature
상태바
Warning of Nature
  • Hwang Woo-ram, Moon Whun
  • 승인 2010.03.15 10:24
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Time to think about nature and to begin self-reflection

March 22nd is World Water Day and March 23rd is World Meteorological day. These days, environmental problems like water shortage problem, air pollution, global warming are serious. World Water Day was established for water shortage problems. World Meteorological Day was established for meteorologists who are working for the convenience of mankind. However, it is also a day for mankind to be thoughtful to nature.
Despite water shortage, we wastefully use water. The available amount of water accounts for just three percent of the total amount of water in the Earth. This water gets dirty by factory pollution, industrialization and so on.
Also, disasters take place due to climate change. In the vast majority of cases the climate change is being caused by human activity. Exhaust gas from cars and Freon gas from refrigeration destroy the atmosphere. Reckless logging boosts global warming.
These behaviors will not only give descendants a heavy load, but also affect us now. Furthermore, natural disasters like tsunamis in Southeast Asia, Hurricane Katrina in America and the recent earthquake in Haiti occurred regardless of men’s intentions. In addition, they threaten us.

People spend water like water.

There is an old saying in Korea: ‘Spend money like water’. In this time of thinking, water was an abundant source. People in old days believed it would never dry up. However, water is no longer an abundant source. The UN classified Korea as a water shortage nation. Nevertheless, we still wastefully spend water. Among OECD countries, Korean water consumption per capita is the most. It reflects people’s thoughtless attitude to water.
It is evident that Korean people don’t take the water problem so seriously. In spring of 2001, 360,000 people received a restricted water supply or a transported water by drought. In 2002, 100,000 people received the same. Meanwhile, 33 water supply facilities including 11 multipurpose dams were constructed. However, people still undergo extreme water shortage in some areas. Considering the population growth rate currently, the population in South Korea will be 50 million in 2011. While water demand will be 36.7 billion tons per year, water supply is 34.7 billion tons. This means that we lack two billion tons of water per year.
Besides this, 18 countries all over the world like Egypt, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Singapore suffer from a shortage of water. Kuwait imports water from Iran. Also, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan exchange water and gas with each other. Singapore imports water from Malaysia, but it is still negotiating with Indonesia due to the lack of water supply. In the case of African countries, water shortage is even more serious.

Nature gets angry.

Unusual weather conditions from global warming
Because of global warming, the glaciers in polar regions are gradually melting to raise sea waters and to reduce the water temperature. This changes ocean currents. This, in turn, causes unusual weather conditions. Finally, the earth is approaching another ice age and its species will not survive. This is the theme of a movie, The Day after Tomorrow. Could it really happen? Most specialists answer ‘yes’. We don’t want to think about Earth covered with ice. However, for years, scientists have warned that the Earth may face dangerous climate changes because of global warming. On January 4th, Seoul had its biggest snowfall since 1937 - 28.5cm. On January 3rd, it was the heaviest snowfall Beijing has had in 59 years. A tremendous amount of snow fell on Europe, too.
In this way, the effect of global warming often generates downpour, heat wave, cold wave, drought, and heavy snow. Due to these, the scale of damage is slowly becoming larger. Now, the world is facing an environmental crisis.

Rage of nature started.

Recently, natural disasters are rapidly increasing, as if nature is angry for the greed of mankind.
For example, more than 170,000 people were injured or dead on January 13th after a cataclysmic earthquake struck Haiti, filling the streets with corpses and burying thousands under razed schools, hotels and hospitals. Haiti's presidential palace and numerous other government buildings in the country's capital of Port-au-Prince collapsed after a strong earthquake with a magnitude of 7.0. In Southeast Asia in 2004, the tsunami that killed nearly 300,000 people was one of the worst in history. Also, Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans caused a crisis and turned the city into a bleak place.
In the Northern Hemisphere, a cold wave has come over the whole country for some weeks. In Korea, there was a very heavy snowfall, while in Poland 80 people froze to death and in China 11,000 livestock died of exposure. Natural disasters are serious, as are abnormal climate changes. In China, a well that has been used for over 100 years overflowed.
After industrialization, mankind considers nature as something to use and weights development over preservation. Isn’t it that Earth, which has kept balance till now, lost balance due to mankind’s behaviors? It’s time to think about the nature which we have neglected.

hwr0325@jbnu.ac.kr
moonwhun@jbnu.ac.kr


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