10 Difficult Things About Climate

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Climate change is almost always presented in terms of heat waves and floods, rising sea levels and melting ice caps. These are all important pieces to be aware of because they’re happening now and will have a major impact on our world in the coming years. Which of the following biomes is correctly paired with the description of its climate?

Broadleaf forests have a humid, subtropical climate and are only found in regions near the equator. Climate change disproportionately affects women and children in rural areas through changes in food and water systems that impact physiological development, health and nutrition.

10 Difficult Things About Climate :

1. Science and Politics :

Climate change is almost always presented in terms of heat waves and floods, rising sea levels and melting ice caps. These are all important pieces to be aware of because they’re happening now and will have a major impact on our world in the coming years. Which of the following biomes is correctly paired with the description of its climate?

Broadleaf forests have a humid, subtropical climate and are only found in regions near the equator. Climate change disproportionately affects women and children in rural areas through changes in food and water systems that impact physiological development, health and nutrition.

2. The Current Crisis :

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) predicts that an increase in temperature from  present conditions to 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels will have a wide range of impacts on many different aspects of human life including: mitigation, adaptation, food production and distribution, water resources, energy production, health and well-being.  

3. The Global Scale :

The IPCC concluded that the long-term temperature increase of the world’s oceans (0.6 degrees Celsius since the 1950s) has caused most of the observed sea level rise since 1900. The IPCC’s projections indicate that in the absence of any climate change mitigation, global mean surface temperature will continue to rise and will reach 4 degrees Celsius (or more) above pre industrial levels by 2100.

4. The Estimates :

Climate scientists estimate that the increase of average global temperature to be about 0.8 degrees Celsius above 1880s levels by 2100. This estimate is based on four (4) key scientific methods: surface thermometer, satellite instrument, land measurements, and ocean measurements.

5. The Impacts :

Scientists have predicted that a global mean temperature rise of about 4 degrees Celsius compared to the preindustrial level would have significant negative impacts on many natural systems. This is called the “4-degree world”. Scientists have predicted that the average worldwide temperature will rise by 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre industrial levels by 2050, and 4 degrees Celsius (7.2 degrees Fahrenheit) or higher by 2100. Many scientists now think that this 4 degree rise is not an inevitability, but rather it’s contingent on our choices today to reduce emissions and slow climate change over time. The climatic conditions of a 4 degree world would differ significantly from present conditions, with multiple regions being affected differently.

6. The Duration :

The IPCC writes that it is equally difficult to assess the consequences of warming and cooling of the climate, or changes in climate variability (storms and droughts) precisely on timescales longer than a century but less than a thousand years.   The IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) reports that “the warming over the last 50 years appears to have slowed down since about 1998,” with about a 5% increase in global average temperature since 1998. In its AR3 report, the IPCC stated that “there is very low confidence in any observed signs of decadal scale sea level rise.”

7. The Negatives :

One of the more negative consequences of climate change is projected to be a disruption in the monsoons, the yearly cyclical pattern of heavy rains that sustain agriculture in many parts of Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. Many regions are likely to experience longer, more destructive droughts with little relief during this time. A changed monsoon could be disastrous for food production in large parts of Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. 

In many areas, such as India, these changes could aggravate water shortages and lead to serious health problems. Many fishery experts estimate that fish catches will decline by an average 20% across much of the ocean by 2020 due to rising temperatures and failing ocean conditions due to climate change.

8. The Possible Solutions :

Although the potential consequences of climate change are severe, there are also many potential solutions to address these concerns. For example, some scientists are working to develop technologies to capture and store carbon dioxide gas from industrial processes that have become widespread. 

Alternatively, farmers can use “no-till” farming methods in which they leave crop residue on the soil surface and then plant vegetation. This practice improves soil health and increases water retention during dry spells. It also allows the soil to retain more moisture in the root zone during heavy rains when it is most needed by the crops.

9. The Risks :

One of the more significant risks posed by climate change is that of increased health risks from the spread of infectious diseases due to the changing climate. Many areas possess a higher risk for environmental-related disease due to the effects of a changing climate and health professionals are concerned about this trend.

10. The Future :

There is disagreement among scientific experts as to whether a rise in global average temperature to 4 degrees Celsius will occur within this century or perhaps even as early as 2100, though many scientists believe it will occur by 2070 or later in this century.

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