Table of Contents
The major challenge that facing our planet and the humanity is the issue of the climate change and mechanism that would help in addressing the challenge. Climate change can be defined as the changes over time of the biological and geophysical conditions that result in variations in the averages and variations of the precipitation, surface temperature and the wind over time. The climate change also results in associated changes in the earth atmospheric pressure, the ocean levels, the natural water supplies, land surface, snow and ice, the ecosystem services and the living organisms (IPCC, 2007). The current trend of climate change in comparison to other changes in history is the causal part that human activity or the so called the anthropogenic forcing and the present with the projected expected dramatic changes in the climate across the globe.
People may have different perceptions and appreciation of the risks that climate change may impose on them. Though personal experience may not easily be able to detect the long term effect associated with climate change, though the whole phenomena calls for personal evaluation, examination and observation. Most part of the living population think of the risks associated with climate change and being uncertain and likely to happen in the future and possibly at some distant ( geographically) and this lead to people discounting them. Human activities influence the climate change and they may be looked at region specific aspects as well as the pattern in the consumptions. The population growth is another major aspect that influences the climate change. Coping and adapting to climate change has been ongoing and it is a process that is ever changing and the many aspects influence the general reaction to the change and the preparations process for the adverse blows that are associated with the climate change that include events that are chronic in nature and with disastrous magnitude.
The potential impact of climate change vary in many aspects and the implication also affect different aspect of the global and humanity. Some of the notable implications of climate change include the global warming, the changes in the precipitation patterns, the rise in the sea level, the changes in the rates of evaporation and also the depletion of the stratospheric ozone layer which has a direct impact on the human settlement. The human settlement components that re affected by the depletion of the ozone layer includes the housing, the infrastural and energy sector, the transport and also the industrial operations. The depletion of the ozone and the global warming also has an impact on the human health and the quality of air available for the ecosystem services. There is also a visible interrelation between the natural systems and the human health with the recorded increase in the levels of the Ultraviolet-B radiation that reach the earth surface due to the depletion of the ozone layer (Damkaer,1990).
Presently there seem to be some substantial scientific reservations on the nature and extent of the climate changes that may lead to the doubling of the level of CO2 in the atmosphere. It may be fundamental to make assumptions on the changes in climate change to be able to assess or evaluate the potential impacts that occur as a result of the change in the prevailing conditions.
A close analysis of the situation will yield some interesting facts. As a result of civilization the cities are growing so fast now compared to a couple of decades ago. The existing landfills are almost getting saturated and the emissions produced are enormous. Though the amount of waste being generated is enormous, its value exists though the exploitation is not fully operational or appreciated (Bird, 1988). There is need for the change of the global waste management system from the current unsustainable model to a more sustainable and effective system. Taking into account the population growth and the amount of waste generated, it is possible for the waste generated by a city to be recycled and exploited in such a way that energy to light and run the city will be from the waste from the given city.
Impacts of climate change
The paleoclimatic evidence and simulation modelling have shown that during the climatic warming, the degree of warming differs with latitudes with higher warming more in higher latitudes than the warming in lower latitudes and the warming is also more in the winter as compared during the summer season (Golitsvn, 1989). W warm atmosphere is characterized by higher concentration of the water vapor and there is a generally increased intensity of the whole hydrological cycle though the precipitation patterns are expected to change evenly both in time and space (Golitsyn, 1989). Most of the scientists are believed to be thinking that in warmer climatic conditions the earth is anticipated to experience more varying weather conditions as it is the case presently where the more floods, drought and intense heat waves and hurricanes and typhoons will be experienced (Climate Institute, 1999). Human health is likely to be affected by the expected rise in the global temperature and this will likely to have an impact on the comfort, food production, lifestyles, residential and migration patterns, and the economic activities of people.
The rise in global temperature, the atmospheric circulations pattern will also change with the variations in the frequency and the seasons of the rainfall and the general rise in the time for precipitation and evaporation (Bolhofer, 1999). The changes in the precipitation process has a direct effect on the water availability , flood protection mechanisms and practices, agricultural activities, the planning process for both the infrastructure and the natural habitats. The increase in the intensity of the hydrological cycle may result to severe weather related happenings that will affect humanity and the natural systems and the events may include the floods, extreme tropical cyclones and droughts. Humanity is expected to face further challenges in addition to storms and the expected interference in the atmospheric circulation.
The global warming will result in thermal expansion on the uppermost layers of the sea and this with the subsequent melting of the ice and the movement to the sea and ocean is anticipated to result in the rise in the sea levels. Statistics show that in the next 40 years the rise is expected in the sea level is expected to be between 9 and 29 cm and possibly by 28 or 29 cm by the year 2090(Bird, 1988). The rise in sea level is expected to have enormous impact on the population that lives along the coastline or the river banks. A 25 cm rise in the sea level is likely to displace the people living in the delta region of the river Nile and the Ganges and the region can be declared uninhabitable (Kerr, 1999). The situation could be worse in china in case the sea level rises by 1m where an approximated a hundred million people could be displaced along the coast of china.
Coping with climate change
The adaptation to the risks and the potential impacts that the climate change may have is becoming the most important, pressing and urgent issue, especially bearing in mind the rapidity or the rapid rate of the occurrences of the predicted changes. Not only is it become important and urgent to guarantee the safety and security of both nonhuman and human settlements in most prone regions in the world but also to guarantee that the urgent and pressing needs should not come on the wake of addressing the vital climatic change mitigation initiatives and progressively develop strict policies that would be executed both nationally and locally addressing the climate changes.
Adaptation can be defined as the natural system and or human systems adjustment in reaction to an actual or anticipated climatic effects that moderates harm to the human or the social system or exploiting the potential opportunities that exist (Iriki, 1997). The adaptation process may include preparation made in advance in anticipation of the impacts of the climate change; the responses can be as a result of the deliberate policy formulation and decisions based on the awareness of the present or the potential upcoming changes and also the spontaneous responses that encompass the unplanned responses that are usually prompted by the evident ecological changes in the likely systems and the welfare or the market changes in the human system instead of having the specific adaptation strategies that is well structured with defined plan of action.
Climate change experienced can be anticipated to be either continuous or discrete in nature. In the case of discrete events, most researchers in the climate field have always cautioned of the frequent and dire outcomes related to the weather changes in the forms of hurricanes, storms, bush fires, flood, and other rapid onset and mostly unpredictable events. In the continuous stratum, the researchers have projected persistent happenings such as the drought and other incremental and relentless conditions such as the soil losses through erosion, gradual environmental toxification and the salination.
Climate change adaptation in the science context is usually used when referring to the micro and macro system changes such as the changes that are related to the communities, the households, regions, countries and institutions (Leatherman, 1999). The other adaptation mechanism can be in the context of the structural changes that will look at the innovative structures or availing a mechanism of accessing fresh water to deal with the physical blows and the looming physical impacts of climate change.
The mitigation responses and adaptation to climate change has been proved to have different impacts on both the cultural and demographic components of the different populations. The different populations may be constituted by different social interpretations and constructions in the understanding of the climate change. There exist differing social justice and cultural understandings that must be taken into consideration when trying to address the concerns in the research when trying to address the limitations of one research. It will be important to take the cultural and social differences when suggesting the best mechanisms when trying to address the issue of climate change.