Effects of Climate Change in Libya Essay Example

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21EFFECTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE IN LIBYA

Effects of Climate Change in Libya

Abstract

The location of Libya is the northern part of Africa, and its land (94%) is the desert. Both the Sahara Desert and the Mediterranean Sea are the main features. Several factors handle climatic changes in Libya, and they include the greenhouse gases, the methane and nitrous oxide, and the poor waste management practices. The build-up of greenhouse gases, nitrous oxide and methane, as well as other gases would lead to the rise in temperature. The sea level is also projected to rise. Climate change will also lead to the scarcity of water. Climate change hurts tourism, agriculture, infrastructures, and water resources among others. There are several climate change mitigation strategies including replacing the petroleum products with natural gas, the use of best practices for managing waste, among others.

TABLE OF CONTENT

Abstract……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..2

Table of content…………………………………………………………………………………………………………..2

Libya, its location, ecology, and economy………………………………………………………………………5

Causes of climate change……………………………………………………………………………………………..5

  1. Effects of greenhouse gases……………………………………………………………………………….5

  2. Aerosols and particles……………………………………………………………………………………….6

  3. Methane and nitrous oxide………………………………………………………………………………..6

  4. Waste disposal practices…………………………………………………………………………………….7

Effects of climate change……………………………………………………………………………………………..7

  1. Modelling………………………………………………………………………………………………………..7

  2. Projections……………………………………………………………………………………………………….8

Impact of climate change……………………………………………………………………………………………15

  1. Agriculture…………………………………………………………………………………………………….15

  2. Tourism…………………………………………………………………………………………………………16

  3. Infrastructure………………………………………………………………………………………………….16

  4. Human health…………………………………………………………………………………………………17

  5. Managing water resources………………………………………………………………………………..17

Governance issues and mitigation and adaptation strategies……………………………………………18

Conclusion………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..18

References………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..22

Effects of Climatic Change on Economy, Ecology, and Community of Lybia

Libya, its location, ecology, and economy

Libya is position four in Africa, and ninety-five percent of its land comprises of a desert (Sahara). The country’s location is North Africa’s Maghreb region. Two nations (Tunisia and Algeria) border the country to the West while Egypt borders it to the east. Sudan, Niger, and Chad border the nation to the south whereas the Mediterranean Sea borders the country to the north. The country stretches out between 9 degrees to 25 degrees east and 18 degree and 33 degrees north. The country’s total area is 1760000 square kilometres. The terrain is mainly barren and comprises of undulating and flat depressions, plateaus, and plains. The only true mountain in the nation is the Tibesti Massif found near the border with Chad. Bikku Bitti, the Country’s highest point is about 2,267 metres while Sabkhat Ghuzayyil, at – 47 metres is the country’s lowest point. The temperature is mainly high with an average of 27 Degrees Celsius each year. An average of 100 ml-500 ml of rainfall is experienced in the country’s northern part. On the other hand, the southern part experiences about 10 ml of rainfall each year, and some parts of the country do not receive rainfall at all. The dominant influences of climate are the Sahara Desert and the Mediterranean Sea. Although there are no permanent watercourses, there are several Saline Lakes in the country. During summer, the temperature in the desert is usually very hot with an intense night/day differences in temperature, and there is a mild winter. The range of precipitation is light to negligible. The harsh physical barriers and conditions limit human occupation as well as agricultural activities. Several species of plants such as Boras, Acacia ssp, Phoenix, among others are present in the coastal areas of Libya. The xerophytes groups present in the Mediterranean protect the shorelines from the storms, and the erosion. The location of the mountain ecosystem is the western part of the country where there is Green and Nafosa mountains. Approximately 0.1% of the Libya’s land is woodland mainly in the form of shrubs. The desert landscape of Libya comprises of a congenital desert, rocky desert, and sandy desert. There are a small biomass and sparse vegetation in the desert’s ecosystem. Human activities have contributed to the severe degradation of the eco-environment. The dominant religion of the country is Muslim. The nation relies heavily on petroleum generated revenue to fund its budget.

CAUSES OF CLIMATE CHANGE

There is a rapid change in earth’s climate and several factors contribute to these changes. The temperature of the earth is dependent on the balance between the energy leaving and entering the earth’s system. Several factors, both human and natural, cause changes in the balance of the earth’s energy and these include:

  1. Variation in the energy of the sun reaching the earth

  2. Changes in the earth’s surface and atmospheric reflectivity

  3. Greenhouse effect changes, which has an effect on the amount of the retained heat by the earth’s atmosphere

These factors are the main causes of the climatic changes. Before the Industrial Revolution, natural causes such as volcanic eruption, natural changes in the concentration of the greenhouse gases, and solar energy changes handled climatic changes. However, it is not possible to explain the recent changes in climate based on the natural causes only (Aulakh, 2013).

  1. The greenhouse effects

When sunlight reaches the surface of the earth, the earth either absorbs it or is returned into space. Greenhouse gases, for instance, methane, nitrous oxide, water vapour, and carbon dioxide, absorb energy, preventing or slowing the heat loss to space, a process called greenhouse effect. Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution around 1750, there has been the addition of the heat-trapping gases such as carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. The emission of these greenhouse gases has led to an increase in the greenhouse effect, leading to a rise in the temperature of the surface of the earth. Human beings contribute to the emission of the greenhouse gases by burning coal, gasoline, and other fuels. By doing so, they release a large amount of carbon dioxide into the air. Other human activities leading to the emission of the greenhouse gases include landfills from cleared forests and farms (Melillo et al. 2014).

  1. Aerosols and particles

Other causes of climatic change in Libya include the aerosols and particles present in the atmosphere. The emission of these substances is because of various activities by human beings, for instance, burning of biomass and fossil fuel. Some aerosols originate from the natural sources, for instance, the marine planktons and volcanoes. Examples of aerosols include the black carbon, sulphates, and warming and cooling aerosols (NRC, 2010).

  1. Methane and nitrous oxide

Agricultural activities in Libya mainly through irrigation handle the production of nitrous oxide and methane, two gases with a higher potential for global warming than carbon dioxide. 37% of the earth’s landmass is used for agricultural activities, and this makes up 84% and 52% of the global nitrous oxide and methane emission respectively (Werrell, Slaughter, Femia, & Center for Climate and Security, 2013).

  1. Waste disposal practices

The practices of waste management handle emitting greenhouse gases in several ways. First, the aerobic waste decomposition in landfills leads to the production of methane. Open incineration or burning produces greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide. Another contributor to greenhouse gas is the fuel combustion used during the transportation of wastes to the sites of disposal (Aulakh, 2013).

THE EFFECTS OF CHANGING CLIMATE

  1. Modelling

As a way of confirming that human beings handle climate change, scientists considered other factors. These factors are the interaction between water and air, land and air, the complicated physics of the atmosphere, the natural processes that changes climate, and changing the amount of desert, forest, and ice. The construction of the models is by the use of powerful computers based on climatic system’s physics. Climatic scientists start constructing the models with basic science namely the thermodynamic principles, an interaction between carbon dioxide as well as other gases, infrared radiation, and other factors influencing the balance of heat leaving and entering the atmosphere. The scientists then merge these with actual data measurement, for instance, the present greenhouse gases’ concentration in the atmosphere. The next step is the testing of the hypothesis about the processes affecting the phenomena.

When there is the matching of the predictions to the observations, it confirms the model as well as it underlying assumptions. When there is the diversion of the predictions from what is observed, the scientists of climate revise their hypothesis. By such a process of trial and error, the scientists can ensure the accuracy as well as the reliability of their hypothesis. To perceive the effects of climate change on various parts of the earth, the scientists split the model into small pieces and calculate the reaction of small parts of the surface of the earth to the greenhouse gases and the sun. They then join these small parts based on the extent of the interaction between the ocean and the atmosphere. Through this process, the models are more accurate and give the community of climate research confidence that the projections of the future are robust. It is now possible for the scientists to carry out experiments with the models. They can use the models to show the changes in climate with time (Tolba et al., 2009).

  1. Projections

There will be a rise in the global temperature mainly contributed by the build-up of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. There will be a large economic cost as extreme events of weather such as floods and drought become more frequent and destructive. There is also the inundation or the destruction of the island nations, communities, and cities because of the rising sea levels and the disruption of the agricultural output. The rising temperatures are also likely to devastate the biodiversity and the ecosystem. Libya, a northern African country is vulnerable to the impacts of the climatic changes. Scenarios envisage an average annual temperature rise, higher than the expected rise for the globe (Aulakh, 2013).

There will be, more intense, and more numerous heat waves. Libya is also likely to experience more frequent and intense drought. Additionally, the projections indicate that there will be a slump of 4 to 27% of the yearly rainfall. The increasing evaporation, as well as the coastal aquifers, will worsen the water deficit. There is also a likelihood of a rise in the sea level by 23-47cm. Many regions in the Mediterranean would then be experiencing the risk of being eroded or submerged. By 2100, it is projected that Libya will have 3 degrees to 5 degrees rise in mean temperature. In addition, the precipitation will decrease by 20%. By 2050, is projected that there will be a drop in water run-off by 20% to 30%, and this is because of lower precipitation.

1995 Precipitation

Effects of Climate Change in Libya

2050 Precipitation

Effects of Climate Change in Libya 1

2070 precipitation

Effects of Climate Change in Libya 2

2100 precipitation

Effects of Climate Change in Libya 3

Reduced flow of streams as well as ground water recharge may result in a 10% or more water supply reduction by 2050. There will be a significant rise in the Mediterranean Sea level by 30 cm to a metre by 2100, and this will lead to flooding in the coastal regions (Werrell, Slaughter, Femia, & Center for Climate and Security, 2013).

In 2030, the temperature is projected to increase from 0.5 to 1.0 degrees in the best scenario and 1-1.5 degrees in the worst scenario. In 2070, higher temperatures of 1.0-1.5 degrees in the best scenario will be attained. In the worst scenario, the average annual range of temperature in 2070 would be 2.0 to 2.5 degrees. In 2100, there will be an annual temperature of ranging from 2.5 to 3.0 degrees in the worst scenario and 3.0.4.0 in the worst scenario.

IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) point out that, in the 20th century, there has been a rise in the global sea level at a rate of 1.7mm each year. The increasing level of greenhouse gases means that there would be a further rise in the sea level by 1 to 3 metres. The main contributor to this is the thermal expansion of the ocean and the melting of the glacier (Aulakh, 2013).

Temperature baseline (1995)

Effects of Climate Change in Libya 4

Temperature 2050

Effects of Climate Change in Libya 5

Temperature 2070

Effects of Climate Change in Libya 6

Temperature 2100

Effects of Climate Change in Libya 7

Sea level rise for Mediterranean Sea

Effects of Climate Change in Libya 8

IMPACT OF CLIMATIC CHANGE

  1. Agriculture

In the northern part of Africa, the rising temperature linked with the changes in climate is likely to reduce the agricultural lands, shorten the growing seasons’ length, and reduce the yields of the crops. In Libya like other Northern African countries, a one-degree rise in temperature in a year reduces the growth of the economy in that year by approximately 1.1 points. Predictions also indicate that the annual precipitation will decrease, exacerbating these effects, especially in the arid and semi-arid area that utilizes irrigation for the growth of crops. Libya faces various environmental challenges and has to patch up numerous conflicting priorities, from ensuring food security and water supply, supporting economic diversification, as well as, furthering environmental conservation and protection to adapt to global warming impacts (Radhouane, 2013).

Climate change will have an effect on all the food security dimensions (availability, utilization, stability, and access). Many experts believe that there will be a future drop in the agriculture performance, and this is because of drought. The adverse climatic change impacts include reduced yields of the crops due to reduced availability of water and drought. The increasing trend of the temperature will cause crop failure, as the soil will lack enough moisture. Consequently, a warmer climate will result in crop losses because of diseases and weeds. By 2020, it is projected that the total crop yield in Libya would reduce by about 50% and by 2100; there would be a fall of crop revenue by about 90%. The most affected would be the small-scale farmers (Aulakh, 2013). The scarcity of water about climate change is likely to have adverse effects on Libya’s agriculture. The 2009 report by FAO, World Bank, and IFAD indicated that there would be a reduction in the average annual rainfall in Libya by 10 percent in the subsequently 50 years (Melillo, Jeremy, Terese, Richmond, & Gary, 2014).

The continuation of the recent trends in the emission of greenhouse gases means that there will be a rise in the global temperature at a faster rate than any time in the past.

There will be a decline in the tourism index comfort in Libya in the coming years. By 2080, the areas presently classified as «good» or «excellent» will not be favourable because of the climate change. Like other Arabic nations, many of the projections of the climatic changes in Libya will influence the Libya’s tourist destination attractiveness. Droughts, water scarcity, ecosystem degradation, and hotter summers are some examples. There is thus a need to consider the exploration of a more sustainable and alternative tourism that has less sensitivity to the variability of the climate, such as cultural tourism.

  1. Infrastructures

Projections show that climate changes will have a significant effect on infrastructure in Libya. Transportation infrastructure is especially vulnerable to the anticipated increases in the frequency and intensity of storm activities, sea level rise, and hot days. Coastal zone infrastructure is vulnerable to storm surges. There will be the hampering of the energy generation by high temperature that will lessen the capacity and the efficiency of the gas turbines and reducing the thermal plants’ cooling efficiency. The likelihood of the energy transmission and distribution systems to fail will increase because extreme events of the weather will be more frequent. There is thus a need to enhance infrastructures to withstand the changes in climate. There is also a need to utilize new technologies and it is important to include the public in the process of decision making.

  1. Human Health

Many scientists widely recognize climate change as human health’s risk factor. Several projected impacts of climate change will hurt human health. There can be direct health effects such as extreme events of the weather for instance floods, heat waves, and storms. Indirect health effects include changes in disease vectors’ range such as mosquitoes, waterborne pathogens, air quality, water quality, food quality, and availability. Climatic changes will also worsen the public health heat waves impact in Libya. Latest projections show that the climatic changes will cause the heat waves to be more frequent, intense, as well as prolonged.

Several types of research in the Arabic region have looked at the mortality rates related to heat waves. These studies have found that there is a direct link between temperature and mortality. There has been an extensive study the relationship between the climatic changes and infectious diseases. The prevalence of malaria, for example, is likely to be on rise because there is the reduction of the incubation period because of high temperature. In addition high temperatures the malaria-bearing mosquitoes’ range and increases the abundance of malaria. It is thus important to adapt the health systems as well as prepare them to respond to the climatic change consequences (Melillo, Jeremy, Terese, Richmond, & Gary, 2014).

  1. Managing water resources

There is scarce water resource in Libya. The predicted climatic change impact in Libya namely the erratic and reduced precipitation, as well as, increased temperature will worsen an already critical vulnerability state, and place more pressure on the limited available fresh water. Both the quality and the quantity of the fresh water are at risk. The high growth of the population, as well as, the high rate of the freshwater consumption aggravate the problem and make it chronic. Several adaptation measures are essential to managing the scarce water resource. These measures include changing the pattern of cropping, adopting the techniques of saving water, introducing the resource of managing water, introducing saline soil and high-temperature tolerant crops, as well as initiating an innovative technology of desalination. There is also a need for Libya to consider optimizing the use of water, particularly in agriculture, which offers the highest economic return in each unit of water volume (Schomerus & Forsyth, 2013).

GOVERNANCE ISSUES

The death of Muammar Qaddafi as well as, the end of the regime split the structure of the security that had ensured that Libya, Niger, and Mali were stable. Because of the demise of his regime, there has been the emergence of compromised, fractured, or failed states in the Sahelian region. As a result, many organized militia groups have emerged and handle inhibiting the creation of stable states. There has been the evisceration of the decentralized army replacing it with militias that carry out their operations independently. Unless there is a civilian leader from whom the militias takes orders from, it will not be possible for Libya to cohere. There has been the emergence of two militias in the nation namely the Rafallah Sahati brigade and the Libya Shield (Aulakh, 2013).

Although the new central government of Libya has attained success, armed militias are still in large number. The government has been unable to control them. Although a success in the national elections can act as the means of easing the tension over power and territory, the current government perceives climate change as the means of building unity. In 2011, for instance, Libya’s central government sent representatives to a climatic conference in South Africa’s Durban area. The aim of the mission was to endorse «The Libya Climate Change Initiative» project whose aim was to finance the wind and solar power with oil-generated revenues. The project, however, received mixed views (Radhouane, 2013).

Current and proposed measures towards mitigating climate change

Although the emission of greenhouse gases in Libya is small compared to that of the developed nations, the nation is, however, vulnerable to climate change impacts. The country, like other North African countries, faces the worst scarcity of water and dependence on climate-sensitive practices of agriculture. The change in climate is a serious threat to the sustained growth of the economy and the reduction of poverty.

Although Libya does not contribute a gig percentage of the greenhouse gases, there is a need for it to take mitigation strategies aimed at addressing the change in climate. The nation, like many other Arab nations, is executing various policies that are climate friendly. The aim of these measures is to reduce the emission of the anthropogenic greenhouse gases. An example is the commercialization of energy generated from the wind in many Arabic nations will help in mitigating climate change in Libya (NRC, 2010).

Another mitigation strategy is the use of the natural gas to replace petroleum. Projections indicate that there will be the use of natural gas in future to replace petroleum since it (natural gas) produces low carbon dioxide compared to coal and petroleum. Natural gas consumption in Libya is on the rise, and this is a good move towards mitigating the global warming. The nation, like other Arabic nations, is in the process of expanding the market for the natural gas (Radhouane, 2013).

Another mitigation strategy is the use of wind power. Egypt, Libya’s neighbour to the East as commercialized the power from wind. Since such energy is clean, it is important for Libya to implement the same. The nation should also invest on solar energy that is poorly utilized. Besides, the nation should also promote the manufacturing of solar water heaters as well as solar panels that will enhance the utilizations of the solar energy. There is a new market for solar water heaters in it neighbouring countries such as Egypt, Palestine, Jordan, and Morocco. Another mitigation strategy is the agricultural sector as it can reduce its emissions, offsetting emissions from other sectors by ensuring that there is the removal of carbon dioxide from the air through the process of photosynthesis. Through the adoption of best practices of management in agriculture, there can be a reduction of nitrous oxide from agricultural soil, methane from manure and livestock production, and carbon dioxide from on-farm energy (Radhouane, 2013).

Best practices of waste management for instance waste prevention, recycling, or minimization can help reduce greenhouse gas emission from waste. These include methane emission reduction from landfills through biological treatment facilities or composting the waste from landfills.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Libya is the number four-nation in Africa in terms of landmass. The total area of the county is 1760000 square kilometres. About 94 percent of the land is arid, and the main features of the nation are the Mediterranean Sea and the Sahara desert. Several factors contribute to change in climate in Libya, and they include the emission of greenhouse gases, variation in the energy of the sun reaching the earth, changes in the earth’s surface and atmospheric reflectivity, methane and nitrous oxide emission and waste depositing practices. It is projected that there will be a rise in temperature, sea level, and water scarcity in Libya in future. Climates change impact several sectors of the economy including agriculture, tourism, infrastructure, water resources, and human health. Today, Libya is an unstable nation, and armed militias control some parts. The mitigation strategies include the use of natural gas, wind power, and best waste management practices.

References

Aulakh, R. (2013). Climate changes significant challenges facing Libya.

Elasha, O., B. (2010). Mapping of climate change threats and human development impacts in the Arab Region. UNDP. Research Paper Series.

Feng, Y., Lei, J.-Q., Xu, X.-W., & Pan, B.-R. (May 07, 2013). Composition and characteristics of Libyan flora. Archives of Biological Sciences, 65, 2, 651-658.

Melillo, Jeremy M., Terese, T. C, Richmond, & Gary, W. (2014). Climate change impact in the United States: the Third National Climate Assessment. US. Global Change Research Program.

NRC. (2010). Advancing the Science of Climate Changes. National Research Council. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

Radhouane, L. (2013). Climatic change impact on North African Countries and some Tunisian economic sectors. Arina, Tunisia: National Tunisian Institute of Agriculture Research (INRAT).

Schomerus, M., Forsyth, T. (2013). Climatic change and conflict: a systematic evidence review, 8, 2051-0926.

Tolba, M. K., & Muntadá al-ʻArabī lil-Bīʼah wa-al-Tanmiyah. (2009). Arab Environment: Climate change: impact of climate change on Arab countries. Beirut: Arab Forum for Environment and Development.

Werrell, C. E., Slaughter, A.-M., Femia, F., & Center for Climate and Security. (2013). The Arab Spring and climate change: A climate and security correlations series.