Global warming can be defined as the gradual increase in the earth’s average temperature, both on air and oceans. This condition is set to keep increasing unless combined efforts are applied to tackle the problem. The average global surface temperature has increased by 0.74 that appears a very minimal temperature change but whose effects have far reaching effects.
The paper is mainly on study Global warming and will concentrate on its impacts on the tourism and agricultural sectors.
The main causes.
Studies have concluded that the observed temperature increases have been caused by the increasing concentration of greenhouses gases that have resulted from certain human activities such as burning of fossil fuels and deforestation of some of the major world forest region that are key in reducing carbon dioxide concentration in the air.
Although, serious debates are being held on ways to mitigate global warming and reduce any further emissions, most government have on have signed and ratified the kyoto Protocol that aims at ensuring that greenhouse gas emission are reduced. But this has faced a share of its challenges as some of the world’s highest producers of the greenhouse effect failing to abide by the agreed Kyoto Protocol claiming that they are not members.
Most of the debates on global warming end up being political with most of the member countries taking sides with their industrialized countries who are the biggest contributors to the global warming effect.
Other causes of global warming are development trends where by small and developing nations follow their development path similar to the current industrialized countries. If such is not checked it may increase the emissions greatly. The structural changes in the production Effects of global warming.
system within a certain nation can at times affect the carbon dioxide emissions that result to global warming. Failure by the energy sector to rely on fossil fuels for energy production instead of using green sources of energy has worsened the problem.
Geographical distribution of human settlements mainly within urban centers is a big concern because all the structures which support the ever growing population are main contributors to the global warming problem unlike in the rural setting where the problem is very minimal.
The effects of global warming and climate change are of concern both for the environment and human life. It is evident that observed that climate change has directly led to increasing temperature record, rising sea levels and decreased snow cover in the Northern Hemisphere, among other erratic changes in weather patterns are clearly evident today. Increasing temperatures have lead to increase other extreme weathers such as increased areas with droughts, increased intensity of tropical cyclone and hurricanes activity and increased cases of extreme high sea level.
Effects of Global Warming on tourism
Climate is an essential for tourist to move from one place to another and especially for beach, nature and winter sport tourism. However, the global warming phenomenon is already gravely affecting the industry and all the gains made in promoting and sustaining the industry.
The tourism sector has not been speared by global warming either, strong heat waves, drought and diseases brought that are characterised by global warming have kept tourists away from some of the world's most popular vacation destinations. Rising temperatures are expected to reduce the amount of snowfall at ski resorts, and increase the days with unbearable heat in most popular Mediterranean vacation spots thus keeping off tourists from attending them.
The wildlife-related tourism in most parts of east and South Africa is being affected as drought and changing temperatures drive animals out of their protected areas to other unprotected areas that can support them. However, such movement is causing human-animal conflicts resulting to most of the animals being killed so as to minimise the conflict. The high temperatures have been instrumental in destroying the fragile ecosystems such as the Brazil's rainforests ecosystem.
The Atlantic coasts of Delaware, Maryland and Florida are more vulnerable to erosion as sea levels rise are expected to rise as result of the expanding sea levels due to increased temperatures.
Increased temperatures due to global warming are expected to clear most the wondrous natural tourist attractions such as the spectacular Africa’s highest mountain - Kilimanjaro in Tanzania whose snows are disappearing at an alarming rate, the Caribbean coral reefs which are the world's second biggest, with warmer water disrupting coral growth. The temperatures cause the water to turn acidic and this affects coral's abilities to secrete new skeletons and at the same time increasingly intense hurricanes break them up.
The melting of the snow on the northern hemisphere is likely to submerge the low laying island which are a major tourist attraction in most of the sea coasts, these is predicted to take place in the next two decades as a result of rising sea levels.
The economic factors in tourism have been affected immensely by global warming which have caused environmental crises. Some of them include the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004 and Hurricane Katrina, the two caused immeasurable costs in the travel and tourism industry. The costs incurred were informed of reconstruction of tourist infrastructure that was due to the disasters.
Structures that were not destroyed as well experienced huge costs in maintaining them because most of tourists stayed away from crisis-hit destinations for a long time and could only visit when they were pretty sure that the places are safe and this had to be done through incurring huge expenditures for promotional campaigns to get the tourists back again.
The growth of the tourism sector is mainly associated with the growth of the air traffic system .Huge increase in aeroplanes has lead to the steady growth in the tourism sector. However, aircraft pollution has largely increased leading to global warming and related climate change. In order to reduce this effect the number of tourists should be reduced through increased fares and this will impact on the tourism negatively and reduce global warming.
Effects of Global Warming on Agriculture.
Climate change is expected to have mixed effects on agriculture in that some regions will benefit while other will loss. Low altitude area are at a high risk of reducing crop yields, the middle and higher altitude areas are able to experience increased yields as their temperatures rise slightly. Most agricultural studies point out that increasing temperate increase chances of the spread of pests and diseases.
Global Warming is expected to increase precipitation by 7% and decrease temperatures by about 5%in some parts of America. This is predicted to increase the amount of water present for the plants to grow thus producing more fruits because they have longer growing season. The increased amount of carbon dioxide, coupled with other favourable conditions are bound to make the plants grow even better as some scientists claim. However, increased temperatures may not be very good to help plants do better because they will cause periods of drought followed by periods of dramatic storms.
The drought might occur just when the plants have just sprouted up from the ground and because they are not well rooted they cannot survive the drought. Strong storms associated with global warming are usually associated with floods which wash away the topsoil off of the fields into creeks and rivers. This leaves the farmers with very poor topsoil to grow the next crop resulting to reduced yields.
Global warming is set to increase the size of deserts by reducing the fridge lands. Fridge lands are strips of land within a desert that are able to grow plants when they receive adequate rainfall. The tropical regions near the equator are good for the production of large number of fruits are set to become even hotter thus affecting the agricultural activity of the region.
The south west USA is suffering from the effects of global warming and it’s expected that the suffering from a water shortage which will increase. The region has become dry for any standard agricultural production. The California's snow covered Sierra Mountains are reducing at an alarming rate and this is expected to cause serious water shortages making the Central Valley area unsuitable for agricultural production due to global warming. The effects of global warming will rise of temperature by 3 to 11 degrees within this century affecting the production rate of the main crops such as rice, corn, wheat, barley, soybeans and sorghum by 3-5% for each point rise of temperature globally.
In conclusion, although global warming has some advantages they should not be used to support the emissions of carbon dioxide gas into the air because those who experience the negative effects of global warming by far outdo those who enjoy it. All nations must therefore sign to the Kyoto agreement on reducing carbon dioxide emissions without any country hesitating on it because we are all bearing the effects of global warming although at different levels.
If the global warming effects are not to be effectively curbed the poor nations are likely to suffer more and even became poorer because they will not have sufficient food reserves for themselves and their animals due to unpredicted an insufficient rainfalls. Floods will also be common thus washing away all their belongings. Thus the duty to protect the environment is through personal responsibility because having a good environment is a win –win situation between the environment and the living structures it supports.