Risk of Climate Change Essay Sample
Graph above showed the comparison of atmospheric samples contained in ice cores and more recent direct measurements, provides evidence that atmospheric CO2 has increased since the Industrial Revolution. (Source: National Aeronautics and Space Administration) Climate change is an inevitable phenomenon that is being experienced globally in various forms such as temperature rise, sea level rise, droughts, floods, hurricanes, landslide, etc. According to the forth assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) project even with immediate implementation of mitigation strategies global climate change will continue for decades.
It is estimated that global temperature will rise by 1.8’C – 4.0’C by end of the 21st century (Izaurraade, 2009). A new global climate model predicts that in the coming decade the surface air temperature is likely to exceed existing records (Smith et al., 2007). Growing season temperature in the tropics and subtropics by end of the 21st century will exceed the most temperature recorded in the history (Battistic and Rosmand, 2009).
Should we as humans let this problem worsen? Or else climate change will effect or give risk towards everything including humans, flora and fauna, and the environment Risk and Impact
One of the risks of climate change is how it will affect the people. Climate change will have a huge impact on the people’s health. The health of the people will be affected mostly by air pollution and respiratory problems will have the greatest risk of health effects. Increases in moulds and pollens due to warmer temperatures could also cause respiratory problems such as asthma for some people. Should the effects of climate change get any worse than what it is now, people around the world will have to face some serious problems. Food security will be affected and thus diseases can easily get transmitted. Food or waterborne diseases are acquired through eating or drinking. For example, Hepatitis A is a viral disease that interferes with the functioning of the liver. It can be spread through consumption of food or water contaminated by fecal matter (CIA World Factbook, 2011). Apart from being infected with Hepatitis A, people around the world can potentially get infected with Hepatitis E, bacterial diarrhoea, and Typhoid fever. If the climate change problem still persists in the future, all means of transportation will be disrupted. Natural disasters resulting from climate change will disrupt all forms of transport. Natural disasters ranging from heavy downpours, storm surges, sea-level rises to hurricanes can put the transportation industry activities to a complete stop. Airports, roads, rail lines, tunnels and other mediums of transport could suffer severe damage if these natural disasters happen.
The transport industry will suffer a major loss financially if these problems should extend to maximum degree. Besides the transport industry, the insurance industry would also suffer financial loss. If one of those natural disasters should occur, the insurance company will have to cover most of the catastrophe losses. Climate change has the potential to affect all insurance categories (Brauner, 2007). In an attempt to reduce financial loss from the aftermath of the natural disasters, insurance companies will have to take important steps for considering climate change in insurance policy which are identifying the risk, analysing the risk, mitigating the risk, and transferring the risk. Not only the transport and insurance industry will have financial problem, but the recreation and tourism industries would also have some trouble of their own. Vacations in the Alps are receiving less and less demands every year. Activities like skiing in the Alps are getting less demand as more holidays are taken in warmer destinations. This is because the temperature in Mediterranean destinations becomes increasingly uncomfortable (Harris, 2004). While the recreation and tourism sector receiving less demand every year, energy consumption around the world seems to have more demands as the climate of the world warms.
Demands for electricity rises as it is needed to cool residential buildings like offices and houses. Having said all this, extreme weather events have adverse effects on energy production, distribution and fuel transportation. Slowly but certain, climate change will affect the flora and fauna. With all the changes that the world is making to compensate with the effects of climate change, the flora and fauna have to make some adaptations of their own in order to survive. However if the adaptations are not made quickly enough, flora and fauna are going to face their biggest problem which is extinction. The problem is that their mechanisms of adaptation are no longer capable of coping with the sheer speed of change. So, to prevent the problem to get any worse than it is, we have to play our role as humans to not let flora and fauna to be extinct.
As refer from the picture above, the next problem is that flora and fauna have to face is habitat destruction. Habitat is an essential element for flora and fauna. If the effects of climate change are worsening, then all the animals and plants in the world will not have a place to live in anymore. Most of the plants and animals have to adapt to hotter and drier or colder and wet areas around the world. These changes in areas around the world will have a huge impact on the local ecosystem. One other thing that the climate change will affect is the environment. The obvious effect that everyone knows is that the sea level has increased significantly. During the 20th century, sea level rose about 15cm due to melting of the glacier ice and expansion of warmer seawater. Models predict that sea level may rise as much as 59cm during the 21st century, threatening coastal communities, wetland, and coral reefs (Bergman, 2011). What climate change is doing to and its impacts on agriculture is very crucial to the very survival of the people. Several factors directly connect climate change and agricultural productivity (IPPC, 2007).
Average temperature increases, change in rainfall amount and patterns, rising atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2), change in climatic variability and extreme events, these main climate change related drivers may affect the agriculture sector in several ways. Reduction in crop yields and agricultural activity may occur, besides that incidence of pest attacks may increase as increase in temperature is likely to be conducive for proliferation of pests. The availability of water may also be limited, longer periods of droughts, and reduction in soil fertility may happen. These are the disturbing effects of temperature increase around the world. The other thing that climate change will affect besides the environment is climatic zones. Climate change post a serious threat to the arctic and its wildlife. Arctic ecosystems exist in a delicate balance with the region’s climate and, based on their reaction to different climates in the past, are likely to change significantly under future climate change (Chapin, 1992). The Arctic plays a huge role in regulating global climate. Like other regions of the world, the Arctic faces drastic change.
Ecosystems and the Arctic environment would be dramatically altered by the global build-up of the greenhouse gases. Compared with the temperate and tropical ecosystems, Arctic ecosystems are considered stressed or inherently vulnerable. The implications of warming on the Arctic may have dramatic global repercussions. Marine and terrestrial wildlife are likely to be threatened and many species could suffer or disappear entirely. Many of the flora and fauna species are unlikely to have time either to adapt to this warming, or to adjust their ranges to keep pace with the shift in climatic zones.
RECOMMENDATION / REMEDIAL ACTION
1. World’s Action
How Earth Hour’s Campaign can give impact towards climate change issue
Humanity’s overconsumption of fossil fuels, material goods, non-renewable resources and food, is putting a huge toll on the planet, exceeding its capacity to sustain us. Although the journey to a sustainable future may seem difficult to imagine, it is very much impossible if we all do our part individually and collectively. The objective behind Earth Hour is to demonstrate action against Climate Change, and initiate a mass movement towards more sustainable and healthy use of energy sources. It symbolizes the commitment of an individual to move towards a low carbon intensive lifestyle, thereby reducing the effects of Climate Change. Reduction in the consumption of energy by individuals and organizations will in turn reduce the demand for producing that energy, thereby bringing down carbon emissions by the energy sector. Switching off electrical appliances while not in use may seem like a small contribution towards the environment, but when looked at collectively, it can have a huge impact.
As an example, if every person all over the world who owns a TV set switches it off when not in use instead of putting it on standby, the energy saved is 450MV, which is equal to the energy produced by a small sized power plant in a year. Thus a small step like not using standby mode can reduce the demand for energy produced by one power plant! Earth Hour symbolizes adopting environment friendly activities into everyday life which will lead the way towards a cleaner environment and sustainable lifestyle.
The 3Rs and climate change
The 3Rs (reduce, reuse, recycle) is an approach to sustainable waste management based on a philosophy of cascading where the full resource value of materials is utilised. The 3Rs can substantially decrease the amount of waste to be disposed of and thereby reduce greenhouse gas emissions both from the waste sector and from other sectors (Janya Sang-Arun, 2013). Generally speaking, while organic waste generation can be reduced, it cannot be completely eliminated. Reuse of organic wastes (e.g. the use of food waste as animal feed) directly contributes to avoided GHG emissions from the reduced need for production. Recycling of organic waste (e.g. composting and anaerobic digestion) can reduce net GHG emissions, but its efficiency depends on the technology and operating conditions.
Legislation and national policies
Developing Asia has no comparable regulation to Europe’s landfill directive (99/31/EC) that requires diversion or pre-treatment of biodegradable waste. Landfill of organic waste is still regarded as an appropriate treatment method, due partly to the potential revenue from the CDM and lack of waste separation.
Nevertheless, the legislation and policies in Asia are gradually shifting towards resource efficiency and the 3Rs. In the Philippines, the RA9003 Act (2000) emphasises recycling and composting of municipal solid waste. Likewise, in Malaysia, the Solid Waste and Public Cleansing Management Corporation Bill (2007) promotes the 3Rs for solid waste management, while Thailand has drafted the Law for Promotion of Waste Reduction and Utilisation, which aims to achieve sustainable development through a recycling society.
China, India, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines have stated explicitly in their national action plans for climate change that they intend to promote the 3Rs. Recently, several countries have developed national strategies on the 3Rs (Bangladesh, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam) and some of these countries have ambitious plans to expand composting and anaerobic digestion (AD).
2. My recommendations
Green your commute
Transportation causes about 30 per cent of World’s greenhouse gas emissions (Environmental Protection Agency, 2012). Therefore, take a walk or cycle or take transit whenever you can. Not only will save our money as well get better shape! If we can’t go car-free, try carpooling or car sharing, and use the smallest, most fuel-efficient vehicle possible.
Be energy efficient
We already switch off light, so what is the next step? Change light bulbs to compact fluorescents or LEDs. Unplug computers, TVs and other electronics when not in use. Wash clothes in cold or warm (not hot) water.
Buy organic and locally grown foods and try to avoid processed items. We also can grow some of our own food and eat low on the food chain at least one meat-free meal a day. By doing such action. 18 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions come from meat and dairy production.
Trim your waste
Garbage buried in landfills produces methane, a potent greenhouse gas. Keep stuff out of landfills by composting kitchen scraps and garden trimmings, and recycling paper, plastic, metal and glass. Let store managers and manufacturers know you want products with minimal or recyclable packaging.
Let polluters pay
Carbon taxes make polluting activities more expensive and green solutions more affordable, allowing energy-efficient businesses and households to save money. They are one of the most effective ways to reduce World’s climate impact.
To put things on a conclusive note, global warming already disrupts millions of lives daily in the forms of destructive weather patterns and loss of habitat (Houghton, 2007). What is already happening is only the tip of the melting iceberg, for it is our children and grandchildren who may suffer most from the effects of climate change. The effects of climate change are likely to be severe and irreparable. If we do not reduce the rate of climate change, hundreds of millions of people may be exposed to famine, water shortages, extreme weather conditions and a 20-30% loss of animal and plant species. While humankind has the ability to destroy the planet, we can also help to protect and sustain it.
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2014/mar/31/ipcc-warns-climate-change-risks “Michelle Obama Prepares for Role as First Lady.” Breaking News, Weather, Business, Health, Entertainment, Sports, Politics, Travel, Science, Technology, Local, US & World News- msnbc.com. 9 Nov. 2008. Web. 04 Oct. 2009. . Michelle R Obama.” Carroll’s Federal Directory. Carroll Publishing, 2009. Reproduced in Biography Resource Center. Farmington Hills, Mich.: Gale, 2009. http://galenet.galegroup.com/servlet/BioRC https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/fields/print_2193.html http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth_Hour
http://www.waste-management-world.com/articles/print/volume-12/issue-5/features/organic-waste-in-asia-3rs-tackle-climate-change.html Janya Sang-A