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The effect of climate change in a globalized world - by Sadat (2013)

Updated: Jan 14

INTRODUCTION

Climate change is a long-term change in the statistical distribution of weather patterns over periods of time that range from decades to millions of years. It may be a change in the average weather conditions or a change in the distribution of weather events with respect to an average, for example, greater or fewer extreme weather events. Climate change may be limited to a specific region, or may occur across the whole Earth.( John Cook 2011).


It is a phenomenon that cannot be overlooked when it comes to dealing with the current state of the world in terms politics, agriculture, environment etc. it is a subject widely discussed in every country. Due to the effect of climate change, politically, it is projected that it will come to point where politically countries that are to be very powerful with limited resources will try to invade countries that are less powerful but with more natural resources.

Environmentally, it also predicted that by the end of the year 2030, what is known as fresh water or pure water will diminish or vanish on the face of the earth. Man will have to find out new technologies to generate such water. Agricultural products will have to produced artificially in the near future due to lack of rainfall, high temperature or maybe excessive rainfall (Paul F. H. Jr. 2009).


This research paper is done to scrutinize the arguments which are coming from some corners of the world and find out the impact or effects of climate change, if there is any, with respect to the environment, agriculture, and economics in a globalized world.


THE PROBLEM STATEMENT

The effect of climate change is evident for everyone to see. The change in the weather pattern where places with less or no rainfall at all is experiencing what is known as el nino rain whereas places with relatively moderate rainfall are now getting none. Surveys have shown that the ice cups in the Arctic and the Antarctic circles are melting at an alarming rate due to the greenhouse effect on our atmosphere which is creating high temperature.


The use and abuse of our natural resources to make our lives easier will come at a cost that will be expensive for us and our future generations to pay-industries in most developed countries emit poisonous gases like Chloro Fluoro Carbons (CFC) in the air. What this CFC does is to gradually destroy the Ozone layer (the ultraviolent shield of the sun) so that the direct heat of the sun can reach earth.


At the same time it also traps the heat the sun from escaping from the earth by creating a heat blanket on top of the atmosphere. This and more is what is causing the greenhouse effect. Word leaders, especially from developed countries have taken some pragmatic steps to resolve the situation- they are trying to reduce the percentage of their greenhouse emission but will that be enough to resolve the problems.


In November this year a conference was organized by the UN in Warsaw to find a long term solution to the raging effects of climate change in the world. The problem is that people in the academia with the knowledge of the climatic condition of the world are of the view that climate change is caused by human activities and due to that disasters like hurricanes, typhoons, tornadoes, earthquakes etc. with the exception of wars, are happening in the world today and the earlier something is done about it the better. But others like the politicians and business people are of a different view or sometimes turn a blind eye to the issue when it is being discussed. They allude to the fact that the issue of climate change has been over rated and exaggerated. And that natural disasters are part of the natural world order and therefore cannot be avoided.


CONTENT DEVELOPMENT 

It will be agreed that climate change poses an eminent danger to our existence as humans. Its causes are both natural and man-made. Majority of which definitely comes from us, but our attitude towards finding a long lasting solution to the problem will determine whether or not we want our future generations to come and enjoy some of the gift Mother Nature has bestowed upon us.


Some of the actions of our leaders tells me that we are not worried about what we are leaving behind for future generations. All we want is to satisfy the present, accumulate a lot of wealth at the detriment of the masses so that we can live large and then what? Die and go with nothing. If each of us can in our own way understand how climate change is affecting us in our various regions, and just try, as little as we can, to this change this phenomenon. I am sure the world will be a better place for us, our children and generations yet unborn.


Climate change on agriculture

Plant systems, and hence crop yields, are influenced by many environmental factors, and these factors, such as moisture and temperature, may act either synergistically or antagonistically with other factors in determining yields (Waggoner 1983). Without yield, crops are most likely to be useless to us-humans. The dependency on crop yield is very important especially in a world where population is growing in an alarming rate and the need to have more food supply is very high. Climate change, for that matter, a change in the weather pattern is affecting temperature and moisture of the environment which is also directly affecting crop and livestock yield.


Changes in precipitation, and higher atmospheric CO2 concentrations are factors that cannot be ruled out. Although temperature increases can have both positive and negative effects on crop yields, in general, temperature increases have been found to reduce yields and quality of many crops, most importantly cereal and feed grains. Increases in precipitation may benefit other water short areas by increasing soil moisture, but could create problems in regions with excess water, while a reduction in rainfall could have the opposite effect. An atmosphere with higher CO2 concentration would result in higher net photosynthetic rates (Cure & Acock 1986, Allen et al. 1987). Higher concentrations may also reduce transpiration (i.e. water loss).


The change in climate has adversely affected some countries in a sense that they either get excessive rainfall or suffer from severe drought. Any of these factors are not for agricultural production. Countries in Africa, like Sudan, Chad, and some parts of Mali are victims of excessive drought whereas countries like USA, Nigeria, and Germany have experienced excessive rainfall. These countries mentioned are most likely to depend on other countries or the UN for food aid. Especially those countries in Africa who are now developing (Vanguard. 2013).


It can be said that those countries mentioned in Africa are arguably one of the poorest countries in the world. Countries like the USA, Germany etc can be called the “bread baskets” of the world because they virtually supply food aid to many countries especially in Africa and Asia. If excessive rain can erode their lands, then their level of support to the world will decline and that can cause hunger and prices hikes on food.


The effect of climate change on agriculture has now, never than before, pushed farmer or producers to search for other alternative resources to be able to produce more yields on their farms. Therefore this has resulted in the implementation of new technologies like fertilizer applications artificial irrigation etc. these technologies also have their own side effects which can even be worse than that of climate change. Chemical fertilizers for instance have zinc and acid, which can pollute our fresh water bodies or even affect the fruits of our crop to trigger the cancer cells in us.


CLIMATE CHANGE ON THE ENVIRONMENT

The environment is an important factor when it comes to the subject of the climate, this is because they both go hand in hand-The climate is solely dependent on environmental conditions. Therefore, any change in the climate can alter the balance of the environment. The survival of all living creature on the face of the earth boils down to how the environment is managed. Unfortunately we have not done ourselves any good when it comes to that- our actions like deforestation, too much chemical fertilizer application, burning of fossil fuels, rapid urbanization, and mineral exploration has left our environment in ruins.


The lack of rainfall caused by deforestation or desertification is creating drought in most countries. Whiles in other countries, the burning of fumes has created acid clouds which when it rains, virtually pollutes the fresh water bodies. With respect to deforestation. One can say that planting of mare trees can help curb the situation, it is true that is not always the case. Planting trees is good because they absorb carbon dioxide-the most abundant greenhouse gas produced by human activities, as they grow. But new research shows that, depending on where they grow, some forests can intensify global warming, rather than easing it. At higher latitudes, such as Canada and Russia, snow cover reflects sunlight back into space, which helps cool the region. But trees block the process and so contribute to warming. (IPCC. 2007).


CLIMATE CHANGE ON POLITICS

The increasing awareness and appreciation of the effect of climate changes in the form of a temperature increase on the earth and patterns of precipitation as well as the secondary physical impacts on the earth’s natural systems is a good thing. But there is an intangible third-order socio-political and institutional effect that have not been fully appreciated. It is only by adding in an accounting of these indirect effects, which bear on security, that a full evaluation of global climate change and appropriation responses can be made. (Paul F. H. Jr. 2009).


Rising temperatures and water problems, like droughts or floods, will have a direct effect on the availability of natural resources such as, agricultural produce and drinking water. The scarcity of these resources can lead to either cooperation or competition among affected groups, but it is competition that drives the social effects of most of who are concern.


If this competition, occurs between urban and displaced rural dwellers moving to cities, as has been seen in many parts of the world, such as South Asia, Africa etc. When cities do not have the resources to accommodate new arrivals, many will aim to move on to more prosperous countries. This can lead to human tragedy for migrants. One of such example is what is happening in Australia with migrants from other parts of the world who are stuck in make shift fences. Recriminations on sending countries for not securing their borders, and ugly nativist backlashes in destination countries.


Countries beamed powerful can invade other countries for their natural resources. And this. If not checked might lead to a third world war. Countries like the USE have invaded Iraq and others under the disguise of searching for weapons of mass distraction, but it is now common knowledge that the USA really invaded that country for their resources (oil) and other things rather than what they touted.


CONCLUSION

Climate change is a phenomenon that is bringing global warming and a gradual deterioration to the environment in which we live. Its effect can be seen in many different ways. One is the effect on agriculture. The emission of too much CO2 in the atmosphere in altering the balance of the rainfall pattern. Therefore, causing crop and livestock fluctuate. The use of technology is helping but might pose a far greater risk to us than that of the climate change itself.  The environment is another component that has been seriously affect and if care is not taken, many natural resources might go extinct. Resources like fresh water is sinking into the ocean many natural habitats along the sea are also vanishing due the rise in the level of the sea. For politics, the effect of climate change is paving the way for powerful nations to invade the so called weaker nations.


I think we can all do something to help curd this menace. Let us all try to reduce reuse and recycle, if we can. Let us respect and cherish the little that mother-nature has given us so that we can preserve it for our future generations.


REFERENCE

IPCC (1996) Climate Change 1995: The IPCC second assessment report, Vol 2, scientific technical analyses of impacts, adaptations, and mitigation of climate change, Chaps 13 and 23. In: Watson RT, Zinyowera MC, Moss RH (eds) Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, p 427–467, 745–771

Kimball BA (1983) Carbon dioxide and agricultural yields: an assemblage and analyses of 430 prior observations. Agron J 75:779–788

Liverman D, O’Brien KL (1991) Global warming and climate change in Mexico. Global Environ Change 1:351–363

Segerson K, Dixon B (1998) Climate change and agriculture: the role of farmer adaptation. In: Mendelsohn R, Neumann J (eds) The economic impacts of climate change on the U.S. economy. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge (in press)

Paul F. H. Jr. (01 April 2009) Survival: Global Politics and Strategy April–May 2009, vol.51,      p 137-148

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