Implications of Climate Change

Norman Myers suggests that natural disasters alongside resource stripping have displaced more than 25 million worldwide due to environmental reasons. This is more refugees who flee war and persecutions (22 million).

2001 was the second warmest year on record, and, since 1976 the global average temperature has risen at a rate approximately 3x faster than the century’s average.

Coastal flooding and erosion can happen as a result of rising sea levels, and this can lead to brackish water (where freshwater is contaminated with sea water). This can implicate arable land, where the land becomes too salty to farm. Some areas like Dhaka, Bangkok and others are susceptible to subsidence.

Another consequence of Climate Change is the destruction of fragile ecosystems, like coral reefs. Coral reefs are fragile to water temperature changes and acidity; climate change threatens this. It also is causing endemic species to die and will impact fishing and tourism in some areas. The El Nino of 1997-98 affected some 90% of live reefs, and drought destroyed Fiji’s sugar cane crop which cost the US government US$ 18 million!

Of the world’s 19 mega cities, 16 are located by the coast. All but 4 are in the developing world, which continue to employ fossil fuels for growth.

It is predicted the most affected regions will be located in the Tropics, and that the poorest nation will not be able to mitigate against the consequences of Climate Change, like flooding, droughts and more.

The threat of flooding and natural disasters will displace millions, and this will cause extra pressure on other nations.

The 288 million population of the USA emit the same amount of greenhouse gas as the 2.6 billion people living in 151 developing nations. Therefore, the USA needs to take more action to accept its responsibility of climate change and do more to reduce emissions, as laid out in the Kyoto Protocol.

The issue of Climate Change is a complex, entangled one. Some argue it has a human cause and that humans should do more to reverse the effects and help those most impacted by it. However, we also understand that Climate Change is a natural process and that this brings into question the human responsibility.

The patterns of weather, oceans and magma are dynamic and can affect all biological life from vegetation and human organisms. Weather patterns, the oceans and magma can indeed create and remake islands and island life.

Climate Change also impacts flows and territories and how people safeguard their territories.

The concept of Climate Change challenges whether we accept it exists and whether we accept responsibility for it. Is Climate Change out of our control? This also ties into the idea of finding someone responsible in the entangled web of connections, can you hold Western nations accountable for Climate Change? Is there a direct link?

Physical ProcessesHuman Processes
Tectonics Weather Ocean flows Wind flowsMigration Resources    

International agreements and organisations like the IPCC and Kyoto Protocol were a form of attributing responsibility, but also to right past wrongs.

Legal cases associated with climate change are only set to increase as more and more people are affected by its consequences.

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