Climate Vulnerability, Adaptation and Resilience
The climate is the statistical representation of whether patterns aver a long period usually over thirty years. It is measured is measured by assessing patterns of variation in wind, temperature, humidity, atmospheric pressure, precipitation and other variables in a given region. A climate is different from the weather as weather describes the patterns of these variables over a short period. The climate of a region is generated through the climate system consisting of five major components. The components include; the atmosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere, biosphere, and lithosphere. The climate of a location is usually affected by its latitude, altitude, terrain as well as nearby water bodies. Furthermore, climate change is the variation in regional climates over time. It refers to the change of the atmosphere over time scales that range from decades to millions of years. These changes are caused by internal processes of the Earth, external forces such as the sunlight intensity or human activities. In this case, I will choose question five that is about climate vulnerability, adaptation and resilience.
Vulnerability is the assessment of the expected impacts and risks on the effects of climate change (Watson, Iwamura &Butt, 2013). It encompasses more than just measurement of the harm but also the sectors ability to adapt. Climate change has an impact on economies, ecosystems, and communities. One of the most serious impacts of climate change is how it will affect water resources. Water is tied to other resources and social issues such as food supply, industry, health, transportation, and ecosystem integrity. The rising temperature if the world causes the water levels to go down and even dry up which results to drought and famine. As a consequence, food insecurity becomes a problem where people cannot plant any crops for food. Most industries use water to run its operations, and therefore, lack of water becomes a problem. Water bodies such as the oceans and seas are the modes of transport between countries and continents. The use of ships works well in deep waters because of its weight and the fall in water levels results in transportation problems. Global warming threatens the health of our children and grandchildren through increase diseases. High temperatures, for example, leads o to diseases such as skin burns (Stocker, 2014).
Climate change is a threat to agriculture. The aspect of climate changes takes our food security at risk. All over the world, farmers are trying hard to keep up with shifting weather increasing unpredictable water supplies. Farmers also content on the unexpected diseases that attack their yield. A warmer, polluted air is a threat to our health. Warm air contains chemical reaction that forms smog. Smog is a lung irritant that can cause asthma attacks. Heat waves also cause deaths and warmer fresh waters grow pathogens that contaminate drinking water. The shift in water patterns alters natural habitats. As climates rapidly shift, the habitats on land and sea are changing making them inhospitable for some species. At the same time, giving other species space to move in and take over. For example, the milder winter and longer summers allow tree-killing insects to thrive. However, the trees weakened by drought have lower defense mechanisms and therefore, this situation destroy thousands of acres of forests (Seinfeld &Pandis, 2012).
Managing climate change is the most significant of all the challenges the world will face in the coming century. A strong and decisive action has to be taken to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions. They increase the risk of catastrophic changes to the physical geography of the planet. Economics is an important aspect of analyzing climate change and informing policy. Adapting to a changing climate is the essential part of societies’ response. While the rich countries have the resources to adapt to the climate change, the developing countries have less capacity to respond and will be hit hardest and earliest. The inequality in climate change places the rich countries in a position to assist the developing countries in adoption efforts. The world will be affected by climate change over the coming decades. It, therefore, calls for the rich countries to help the developing countries in managing the menace. The rich countries will control the situation at minimal low cost and with relative ease by purchasing air conditioners for their homes, offices, buses, cars and trains. Developing countries, on the other hand, are in a much more difficult situation as they have the least capacity to respond. Therefore the need for the rich countries to assist is very important though they will undergo much more expenses. After all, climate change is largely as a result of past rich country actions (Hansen & Sato, 2012).
It is evident that climate change will render certain nations inhabitable. It is the fate of these nation states, its implications for the evolution of the state is at stake. In our case, I will introduce the nation Ex-situ. It is a nationhood that allows the continued existence of a sovereign state, afforded all the rights and benefits of the sovereignty amongst the family of states, in perpetuity. It protects those people who would have been forced from their original places by serving as a political party that does not discriminate (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2014). It is, therefore, the means of conserving the existing state and holding the resources and the well being of it citizens. It cares for its citizens in a new location, therefore, acting in the care of it people. For this to be in place, it requires the creation of a government framework that exercises authority over diffuse people. Hence, a hybrid structure that provides a permanent space for long distance and collaborative governance of Ex-Situ is recommended.
Four visions have been established to ensure a healthy and thriving ecological future. First is the market-liberal vision that sees a future of ever-greater prosperity. The idea of globalization is breaking the barriers and enhances cooperation and sympathy which in turn promotes democracy, prosperity, and tolerance. Market liberals should embrace globalization in all aspects of life such as political, cultural and most importantly economic. They should, therefore, strive for the world with less government and more of consumption, trade and development instances. Second is the institutional vision that supports the recommendations of market liberals. They also agree that technology transfers, free markets, and voluntary cooperation are potentially valuable strategies for promoting global environmental management. Institutions have come up with organizations such as the World Environment Organization (WEO) to counter the climate change menace. Third is the bio-environmentalist vision that tends to see the future environmental doom. They call for a political economy that respects the biological limits of the earth. It requires limits of the global population and economy. The main aim of this vision is to reduce the number of the population through withdrawal of food aid and even forced sterilization. Lastly is the social green vision which wants the world that enhances social and environmental justice that results in collective ways of tackling environmental threats (Barros, Field, Dokke, Mastrandrea, Mach, Bilir, Chatterjee, Ebi, Estrada, Genova & Girma, 2015).
As the effects of global warming are frightening, there are some adaptations that assist us in coping up with the climate change. Geological engineers and scientists are now investigating the aspects to tackle climate change. They manipulate earth’s cloud cover, blanket the earth with sunlight reflecting particles and change the oceans’ chemical composition. The idea of creating a blanket with reflecting particles is to reduce the effect of high temperatures caused by emitted gasses in the space. The heat blocked is dangerous and can cause diseases. There are also some technologies such as carbon dioxide removal technologies that aim at extracting excess carbon dioxide from the air and store it somewhere less dangerous. It’s a clean-up operation after dumping our waste into the sky. The radiation technology traps a lot of energy in the atmosphere thereby reducing the warming effect on the planet. The research to engineering the climate has been accelerated rapidly. A network of entrepreneurs, scientists and advocates has been formed and is gaining influence in the community and government at large (Mach & Mastrandrea, 2014).
Adaptation to climate change and variability is important both for policy development and impact assessment (Bellard, Bertelsmeier, Leadley, Thuiller, & Courchamp, 2012). It is increasingly recognized in academic research, and its significance is recognized in national and international policy debates on climate change. There are two reasons why adaptation is necessary. First, are the impacts of climate change and its dangerousness which can be modified by adaptations of various categories. Most studies make assumptions about expected adaptations in the system of interest. Hence, the key question is what adaptation is likely? And under what conditions the adaptations are expected to occur. Adaptation to climate change needs more intensive inquiry where analysts have seen it necessary to distinguish types, to specify applications of adaptation and to characterize attributes. They can be reactive or anticipatory based on their timing. They can also be autonomous or planned depending on the degree of spontaneity. Further, adaptations can be economic, technological and institutional forms.
Governments at various levels are developing adaptations policies and plans to integrate climate change in broader development plans. In Africa, most governments are initiating disaster risk management, ecosystem-based approaches, public health measures, adjustment in technologies and infrastructure and reducing vulnerable. In Europe, adaptation policy has been established across all levels of government with planning integrated into coastal and water management and disaster risk management. In Asia, adaptation is facilitated in some areas through early warning systems, integrated water resource management, agro forestry and coastal reforestation of mangroves (Gerber, Steinfeld, Henderson, Mottet, Opio, Dijkman, Falcucci, & Tempio, 2013). Planning for sea level rise is adopted in Australia and also planning reduced water availability is a concern in Southern Australia. In North America adaptations are put in place to protect the long-term investments in public infrastructure and energy. Ecosystem- based adaptations such as conservation agreements, community management of natural resources and protected areas are a major concern in Central and South America.
Climate resilience is the capacity of the socio-ecological system to absorb stress and maintain its function. It also adapts, reorganizes and evolves the sustainability of the system for preparation of the future climate change impacts. Due to the increasing awareness of climate change by both national and international bodies, the building of climate resilience has become the major goal for these institutions. The main aim of climate resilience is to address the vulnerability that communities, states, and countries have with regards to consequences of climate change. It encompasses social, technological, economic and political strategies that are set in place in all scales of the society. From local to global treaties, the issue of climate resilience has been given some priority. Climate resilience is classified into urban resilience and human resilience. Urban resilience involves combating climate implications for urban areas while human resilience employs the strategies to control climate change effects of growing populations (Tyler & Moench, 2012).
In conclusion, the climate is a vital aspect of weather that needs to be taken care of. Climate change is very dangerous though it takes a lot of decades to occur. For this reason, it affects our children and grandchildren. It has several impacts ranging from social, political to economic impacts. It leads to death during the climate change waves, and many diseases are also witnessed. The variations of water levels have an impact on agriculture, transport and industrialization hence destabilizing the economy of the affected countries. The most hazardous effects of climate change are the effect on water resources. It is because all the aspects of life are dependent on water. Most importantly, is the development of adaptations by most governments to tackle climate change.
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Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2014. Climate Change 2014–Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability: Regional Aspects. Cambridge University Press.
Mach, K. and Mastrandrea, M., 2014. Climate change 2014: impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability (Vol. 1). Cambridge, New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.
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Tyler, S. and Moench, M., 2012. A framework for urban climate resilience. Climate and Development, 4(4), pp.311-326.
Watson, J.E., Iwamura, T. and Butt, N., 2013. Mapping vulnerability and conservation adaptation strategies under climate change. Nature Climate Change, 3(11), pp.989-994.