CLAIM: A Twitter user, John Shewchuk, a self-acclaimed certified consulting meteorologist, posted on the social media platform that believers in harmful effects of ‘man-made’ carbon dioxide (CO2) are following an economic path of destruction.
Rather than harmful, he claimed that global warming is historically beneficial to Earth, especially to Africa.
“You are following an economic path of destruction based on the false premise that “man-made” CO2 is harming the earth. It is just the opposite. Global warming is historically beneficial to earth, and especially to Africa. Study your history! (PS … CO2 is plant food.)”, Shewchuk said in the post he shared on April 19.
You are following an economic path of destruction based on the false premise that “man-made” CO2 is harming the earth. It is just the opposite. Global warming is historically beneficial to earth, and especially to Africa. Study your history! (PS … CO2 is plant food.) https://t.co/Dnw47huO06 pic.twitter.com/ZKnEjMKgql
— John Shewchuk (@_ClimateCraze) April 19, 2023
As of May 2, over 4500 have viewed the post, 111 retweeted with 212 likes and several comments.
Scientists define global warming as the unusually rapid increase in Earth’s average surface temperature over the past century, primarily due to the greenhouse gases released as people burn fossil fuels.
When fossil fuels, a hydrocarbon-containing material such as coal, oil, and natural gas, are burned, they release large amounts of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, into the air.
Greenhouse gases trap heat in the atmosphere, causing global warming. The global average surface temperature rose from 0.6 to 0.9 degrees Celsius (1.1 to 1.6° F) between 1906 and 2005, and the rate of temperature increase has nearly doubled in the last 50 years. Temperatures are certain to go up further.
Warming above 1.5°C risks further sea level rise, extreme weather, biodiversity loss and species extinction, as well as food scarcity, worsening health and poverty for millions of people worldwide.
Climate scientists corroborated that as greenhouse gas emissions blanket the Earth, they trap the sun’s heat. This leads to global warming and climate change. The world is now warming faster than at any point in recorded history.
Global effects of global warming
Researchers report that global warming has devastating effects on the ecosystem. For instance, the United Nations, the global intergovernmental organisation identifies hotter temperature, more severe storms, increased drought, a warming, and rising ocean, loss of species (biodiversity), insufficient foods, poverty and displacement as well as more health risks as some of the consequences of global warming on the planet Earth.
Is global warming more beneficial to Africa
Dan Shepard, a UN public information person for sustainable issues including SDGs, biodiversity and climate change reported in 2019 that sub-Saharan Africa has experienced more frequent and more intense climate extremes over the past decades. Temperature increases in the region are projected to be higher than the global mean temperature increase; regions in Africa within 15 degrees of the equator are projected to experience an increase in hot nights as well as longer and more frequent heat waves.
The odds are long but not impossible, says the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). And the benefits of limiting climate change to 1.5° C are enormous, with the report detailing the difference in the consequences between a 1.5° C increase and a 2° C increase. The panel said every bit of additional warming adds greater risks for Africa in the form of greater droughts, more heat waves and more potential crop failures.
In his analysis of the impact of climate change on Africa’s economies, Charles Ray, Chair of the Africa Programme at the Foreign Policy Research Institute,United States said global warming threatens the lives and livelihoods of over 100 million in extreme poverty. Global warming is expected to melt Africa’s remaining glaciers in the next few decades, and the reduction in water essential to agricultural production will create food insecurity, poverty, and population displacement.
In Sub-Saharan Africa, Ray said the gross domestic product (GDP) could be reduced by up to three percent by 2050. Even without the deleterious impact of climate change, global poverty is one of the world’s worst problems. It is estimated that one in three Africans, or over 400 million people, live below the global poverty line, which is defined as less than $1.90 per day.
“The world’s poorest people are often hungry, have less access to education, have no light at night, and suffer from poor health,” reported Ray.
Similarly, the African Development Bank (ADB) testifies that Africa, despite its low contribution to greenhouse gas emissions, remains the most vulnerable continent to global warming.
“Africa is the most vulnerable continent to climate change impacts under all climate scenarios above 1.5 degrees Celsius. Despite having contributed the least to global warming and having the lowest emissions, Africa faces exponential collateral damage, posing systemic risks to its economies, infrastructure investments, water and food systems, public health, agriculture, and livelihoods, threatening to undo its modest development gains and slip into higher levels of extreme poverty. The following factors contribute to Africa’s vulnerability,” it said.
In Africa, global warming can amplify multiple security risks such as reduced food production, land pressure and displacement, and conflict.
CONCLUSION: The claim that global warming is historically beneficial to earth especially Africa is FALSE. Studies show that despite its lowest contribution to causes of global warming, Africa faces the most devastating effects of the phenomenon.