Friends of Rivers and Water Bodies (FORAW), an environmental non-governmental organization (NGO), on Tuesday organized a sensitization workshop on climate change at Somanya.
The workshop, which was attended by about 120 participants including assembly members, chiefs, opinion leaders and civil society, was aimed at creating awareness through education. It was also to educate the public on the need to preserve the ecosystem.
Dr Steve Duadze, a lecturer at the Central University, who was the resource person, said human activities over the past 150 years had led to the emission of massive amounts of greenhouse, predominantly carbon dioxide and methane.
This he said came about through burning of fossil fuels as a result of industrialization, land-use, deforestation for agriculture and waste management.
Dr Duadze said since the onset of the industrial revolution, there had been a rise of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere due to the burning of fossil fuels.
He said burning oil and coal released carbon into the atmosphere far more than it was being removed adding “This imbalance causes atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations to increase.
“By clearing forests, we reduce the ability of photosynthesis to remove CO2 from the atmosphere resulting in a net increase of the gas”.
He said if global patterns of fossil fuel consumption and deforestation did not reduce, warming trends were likely to continue and global mean temperature might increase between 1.4 and 5.8 centigrade over the next century.
“Increase in global temperature will cause melting of glaciers, leading to significant rise in average sea level (0.09-0.88m), and exposing low-lying coastal cities and cities located by tidal rivers to frequent and severe floods.
“Special range shifts (loss of biodiversity) are also likely to result from global warming as a result of increase in temperature”.
He said even without changes in temperature, increased CO2 concentration could have an important impact on patterns of plant growth worldwide, because some species of plants responded more favourably to increases in CO2 than others.
Dr Duadze said climate change would affect frequency of extreme weather events like drought, flooding, increased unpredictability of rainfall, extreme temperatures, strong winds and severe storms.
On climate change in Ghana, he said historical data across the country from 1960 to 2000 clearly showed a progressive rise in temperature and decrease in rainfall in all agro-ecological zones.