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Strategies to Avoid Climate Change

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The Dangerous Climate Change and Some of the Strategies That Can Be Used to Avert The Beginning of A Dangerous Climate Change

1) Define and Discuss Climate Change Including Diagrams and Graphs or Figures

Climate Change

There are several definitions for hazardous climatic change and there is no single definition. Dawson and Spannagle (2009) note that hazardous climate change is the level above which climate change reaches the appropriate thresholds (limits) of climate change set out in Article 2 of the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The dangerous climate change alluded to in Article 2 of the UNFCCC is dangerous anthropogenic interference caused by human activities. However, a more precise description of a climatic change is provided by Parker and Shapiro (2008). They note that either or a combination of the above is serious climate change; three-foot increase in sea level, above the 50 percent extinction of biodiversity or/and regional climate change that triggers extreme declines in local food and water supplies. According to climate change experts, dangerous climate change is caused by an additional 2oF (1.2oC) increase in global warming above 2000 levels. The 2oF (1.2oC) spike in global warming above 2000 levels is equal to the concentration of 450 (per million particles) ppm of carbon dioxide (CO2). In May 2008, CO2 levels were 385 ppm (Parker and Shapiro, 2008). The increase in the concentration of carbon dioxide is triggered by human activity that emit carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. All burning that is generated to create electricity emits carbon dioxide into the atmosphere which should be regulated if it is possible to prevent harmful climate change.

Figure 1- Reasons for Concern Over Climate Change Impacts

Strategies to Avoid Climate Change

Sources OECD, 2004

The above figure indicates the warming spectrum per any unit of carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere. Each column represents a tipping point in the atmosphere caused by a given concentration of carbon dioxide. The graph that runs through all the columns shows the rate of warming. Column 1 indicates that additional temperatures between 1.5oC and 2oC are produced by a rise in the concentration of carbon dioxide from 350 ppm to 550 ppm. In column one, the consequence of increasing temperatures can only affect a couple of animals and can endanger the earth system, which can cause items such as ice melting or forest dieback. In this range, if carbon dioxide levels were to plateau at about 850 ppm, major increased warming would occur because the graph’s slope is very steep. If carbon concentrations in the above diagram were to go beyond column five, temperatures would increase by around 5oC and 6oC, respectively. There are significant temperature changes, and life can cease to exist.

Strategies to Avoid Climate Change

2) The Most Affected by Dangerous Climate Change

Compared to those who die or are in danger in emerging countries, the percentage of people who die or are in danger in developed nations is smaller. This is because there is poor or non-existent infrastructure and social safety nets to cushion people from economically developing nations from hazardous consequences caused by dramatic climate changes. People in developing countries are primarily impacted by declining food suppliers while people in developed countries suffer from weather-related conditions such as heat strokes and hurricanes. Precipitated phenomena have induced extreme weather conditions, according to Dawson and Spannagle (2009 p.115). Rainfall trends are shifting and drought rates have risen in developed countries due to global warming. In Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and the Mediterranean region, this has influenced agricultural development. The fall in crop yields and the drop in water supplies are hitting developed countries hard. In Africa and South Asian nations, weakening food security is apparent. It is projected that twenty-three million people in Uganda, Ethiopia, Somalia and Kenya will be affected by extreme drought and rising food prices. As a result, Oxfam launched an appeal for $152 million to aid the most affected people in Africa (Buzzle, 2008). In addition, people in developing countries will suffer more because the amount of calories that will be available for every person will dropped to 2,410 calories daily while those for people in developed nations will be 3,200 calories daily in 2010 (Buzzle, 2008). Due to global warming that increase incidences of malnutrition, two million in Africa dies annually because of malnutrition-related causes. Developed nations also suffer the impact of dangerous climate change. Developed countries such as the United States have experienced extreme long heatwaves and it is estimated that other hot events are likely to be common in the United States by 2039. Furthermore, it is estimated that heatwaves induced by global warming is deadly. In 2003, a heatwave in Europe claimed about sixty five thousand lives. France was hard heat as 17,622 people died, while in Germany, Spain, and Italy as well as Portugal and Netherlands, 9,000, 7,300, 7,300, 1,900 and 2,400 people lost their lives respectively. In London, 1,600 people died from heatwaves and 150 people died in Belgium (Schwartz, 2010). The heatwaves hit Europe also in 2010, killing thousands of people, and destroyed thousand hectares of crops Guardian (2011). In Russia, over 50,000 people were killed by heatwaves in 2010 as people succumbed to heat strokes and respiratory complications. Heatwaves also reduced Russian grain yield by about 25 percent. In addition, countries such as Japan suffer from earthquakes, which can be linked to dangerous climatic changes (Watts, 2009). The above statistics make it clear that more people in developing countries are at risk than in developed countries.

References:
  • ‘Deadly heat-waves will be more frequent in coming decades’, The Guardian, viewed March, 25 2011, <http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/mar/17/deadly-heatwaves-europe>.
  • Buzzle 2008, Report Says Food Shortages Will Hit Developing World and Global Warming Set to Bring Back Malnutrition, viewed March, 25 2011, <http://www.buzzle.com/articles/312607.html>.
  • Dawson, B & Spannagle, M 2009, The complete guide to climate change, Taylor & Francis, London.
  • Eccleston, P 2008, ‘Climate change ‘tipping point’ within 100 years,’ The Telegraph, February 5, viewed March, 25 2011, <http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/earthnews/3324256/Climate-change-tipping-point-within-100-years.html>.
  • Gessert, G 2010, Green light: toward an art of evolution, MIT Press, Massachusetts.
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  • PNASd., Defining a Tipping Element and Its Tipping Point, viewed March, 25 2011, <http://www.pnas.org/content/105/6/1786.long>.
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  • Schwartz, M 2010, Heatwaves and extremely high temperatures could be commonplace in the U.S. by 2039, viewed March, 25 2011, <http://www.articlesbase.com/environment-articles/gobal-warming-induced-heat-waves-are-more-deadly-than-a-killer-virus-601832.html#ixzz1HhRq8Fvp>.
  • Smith, BJ, Schellnhuber, H & Mirza, M d., ‘Vulnerability to Climate Change and Reasons for Concern: A Synthesis’, BioScience, Volume 49, 393–404.
  • Spratt, D and Sutton, P 2008, Climate ‘Code Red’ the Case for a Sustainability Emergency, viewed March, 25 2011,<http://www.global-greenhouse-warming.com/dangerous-climate-change.html>.
  • Stangeland, A 2007, Why CO2 Capture and Storage (CCS) is an Important Strategy to Reduce Global CO2 Emissions, viewed March, 25 2011, <http://www.bellona.org/position_papers/WhyCCS_1.07>.
  • Watts, A 2009, ‘Global warming to trigger earthquakes, tsunamis, avalanches and volcanic eruptions,’ The Guardian, September 7, viewed March, 25 2011, <http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/09/07/guardian-global-warming-to-trigger-earthquakes-tsunamis-avalanches-and-volcanic-eruptions>/.
  • Weidman E 2010, ‘It’s time to include the private sector in the climate change conversation’, The Guardian, November 19, viewed March, 25 2011, <http://www.guardian.co.uk/sustainable-business/private-sector-climate-change-ict>.
  • Williams, C 2010, Ecology and Socialism: Solutions to Capitalist Ecological Crisis, Haymarket Books, Chicago.

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