Millions of tons of trapped gases are produced. World wars accelerate the climate crisis : Sufyan Al-Bali Millions of tons of trapped gases are produced. World wars accelerate the climate crisis : Sufyan Al-Bali

Millions of tons of trapped gases are produced. World wars accelerate the climate crisis : Sufyan Al-Bali

Millions of tons of trapped gases are produced. World wars accelerate the climate crisis : Sufyan Al-Bali

New research revealed on Thursday that the ongoing war in Ukraine for its third year is significantly accelerating the consequences of the climate crisis, as it has released millions of tons of trapped gases since its outbreak on February 24, 2022.
Trapped gases left by the war in Ukraine include carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, and sulfur hexafluoride, which are considered the most harmful to the climate. According to experts, this amount emitted is equivalent to operating 90 million gasoline cars for an entire year, and exceeds the total emissions produced individually by countries, including the Netherlands, Venezuela, and Kuwait, in 2022.

While the war in Ukraine is not the only armed conflict that accelerates the danger of the climate crisis in a world where such conflicts are increasing, which adds to its direct bloody toll of deaths, injuries and destruction, consequences that humanity may suffer from for many decades, at a time when there are no mechanisms to hold those responsible for this damage accountable. .


Wars accelerate the climate crisis

According to the report published by the Eco Action Center, which brings together a number of organizations working on environmental issues in Ukraine, exhaust from military vehicles, forest fires, changing flight paths, forced migration, and leaks resulting from the bombing of fossil fuel infrastructure in Ukraine have caused more emissions. Of the 175 million tons of trapped gases since the outbreak of war.

Aviation fuel consumption has risen significantly with European and American commercial aircraft companies banned from entering Russian airspace, while Australian airlines and some Asian countries changed their routes, a precautionary measure. These additional distances produced at least 24 million tons of carbon dioxide.

Added to all this is the climate cost of rebuilding the war-ravaged country, which could result in about 56 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions. Other studies raised their forecasts for reconstruction emissions between 200 and 400 million tons of trapped gases.

“The carbon emissions resulting from the conflict are of a large scale and will be felt around the world,” said Lennard de Klerk, the report’s lead author. “Ukraine and the countries of the Global South will suffer the most from climate damage,” he said.

While the war in Ukraine is not the only conflict causing these huge amounts of emissions. In a study published at the end of January, the first two months of the Israeli aggression on Gaza caused the emission of more than 281 thousand tons of greenhouse gases.

The study, conducted by researchers in the United Kingdom and the United States, said that the war launched by Israel after the October 7 attack, in its first 60 days, created emissions equivalent to burning 150,000 tons of coal.

While The Guardian newspaper suggested that the conclusions of this study may be much lower than what exists in reality, because it relied in its analysis on monitoring a small number of carbon-intensive activities.

The British newspaper quoted Benjamin Neimark, a senior lecturer at Queen Mary University, as saying: “This study is only a snapshot of the larger carbon footprint of the war a partial picture of the massive carbon emissions and broader toxic pollutants that will remain long after the fighting ends.”

Overall, militaries are responsible for 5.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions, which is a larger percentage than countries, such as Russia and Japan, produce annually in emissions, and ranks fourth in terms of country emissions, directly behind India, the United States, and China.


Other environmental impacts

In addition to emissions, wars cause great catastrophic damage to the environment, especially in the lands on which they break out. An example of this is what is happening in Gaza, where there are many forms of harmful environmental impacts of the Israeli aggression, the most important of which is the continued accumulation of the bodies of martyrs under the rubble, which threatens the spread of epidemics and diseases.

The decomposition of corpses in affected areas leads to the risk of infection with tuberculosis, blood-borne viruses such as hepatitis B and C, gastrointestinal infections such as cholera and E. coli, diarrhea caused by rotavirus, salmonellosis, shigellosis, and typhoid fever.

In addition to these dangers, there is the massive destruction that befell the Strip. The accumulation of building debris causes serious health problems for residents, including asbestos poisoning, which causes pulmonary fibrosis and leads to several types of cancer, such as lung, larynx, and ovarian cancer, according to the World Health Organization website. According to a report by Action Against Armed Violence (AOAV), asbestos causes a long-term contamination risk.

The bombing of Gaza destroyed the sewage network, which, according to the aforementioned report, could lead to the pollution of groundwater, surface water, and the Gaza Strip’s sea water. As an example of this pollution, during the 2008 war, Israeli bombing destroyed the basin of the treatment plant in the Al-Zaytoun neighborhood, which caused 100,000 cubic meters of wastewater to leak and polluted about 55,000 square meters of agricultural land.

During the 2021 war, the Gaza Strip’s Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Service estimated that about one million residents were directly affected by the destruction of water and sewage networks, and polluted water was discharged into streets, fields, water tanks and into the Mediterranean Sea.

Also in Ukraine, according to what Ukrainian environmental expert Bohdan Kuchenko told TRT, the war in Ukraine “led in its first year only to the destruction of 3% of the forest cover, including forests that were completely destroyed, whether by burning or cutting wood to build military fortifications.” .

Kuchenko added that massive damage was caused to the soil and water “due to the millions of shells used, and the resulting toxic substances that seep into the soil and groundwater,” not to mention “the pollution resulting from mines and unexploded shells, which makes the use of these lands unsafe.” For decades."

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