Reducing effects of environmental disasters

We may not forget that reducing the greenhouse gas emissions shall not only have an impact at global warming of 1.5, 2, 4 and 6°C but shall have implications for food, water security, energy security, flooding, infrastructure, ecosystems, health, and human migration.
The increase in global mean surface temperature (GMST), which reached 0.87°C in 2006–2015 relative to 1850–1900, has increased the frequency and magnitude of impacts (high confidence), strengthening evidence of how an increase in GMST of 1.5°C or more could impact natural and human systems (1.5°C versus 2°C).

We can not ignore that global warming results in more ice water melting and bringing an increase in the frequency and duration of marine heatwaves. Further, there is substantial evidence that human-induced global warming has led to an increase in the frequency, intensity and/or amount of heavy precipitation events at the global scale, as well as an increased risk of heavy rain- and thunderstorms plus extreme drought and destructing fires in the Mediterranean region. Trends in intensity and frequency of some climate and weather extremes have been detected over time spans during which about 0.5°C of global warming occurred.

Robust global differences in temperature means and extremes are expected if global warming reaches 1.5°C versus 2°C above the pre-industrial levels. For oceans, regional surface temperature means and extremes are projected to be higher at 2°C compared to 1.5°C of global warming. Temperature means and extremes are also projected to be higher at 2°C compared to 1.5°C in most land regions, with increases being 2–3 times greater than the increase in GMST projected for some regions. Robust increases in temperature means and extremes are also projected at 1.5°C compared to present-day values. There are decreases in the occurrence of cold extremes, but substantial increases in their temperature, in particular in regions with snow or ice cover.

Having the seawater rising shall be chasing away many coastal residents and island residents from their submerged lands.

Climate-related hazards are posing additional difficulties to these countries and to the humanitarian organizations that work to save and protect the millions of people in need. The University of Exeter estimates that a rise in global temperatures of 4°C would affect the lives of more than 1.8 billion people, causing devastating effects due to flash floods, droughts and higher exposure to natural disasters. This shall have an economic impact on the states but also on the local people themselves who shall undergo much more pressure financially to keep their head above water.

Poverty shall increase.

A daily income of less than $2 per person is the internationally recognized threshold for extreme poverty. According to the World Bank, roughly 1 in 10 people worldwide live below this threshold, and 85% of them are concentrated in the top 20 countries most vulnerable to climate change.

Depending on future socio-economic conditions, limiting global warming to 1.5°C, compared to 2°C, may reduce the proportion of the world population exposed to a climate change-induced increase in water stress by up to 50%, although there is considerable variability between regions. Regions with particularly large benefits could include the Mediterranean and the Caribbean. Socio-economic drivers, however, are expected to have a greater influence on these risks than the changes in climate. The global terrestrial land area projected to be affected by ecosystem transformations (13%, interquartile range 8–20%) at 2°C is approximately halved at 1.5°C global warming to 4% (interquartile range 2–7%). Above 1.5°C, an expansion of desert terrain and vegetation would occur in the Mediterranean biome, causing changes unparalleled in the last 10,000 years.

Risks of water scarcity shall make it more difficult to have regular crops of rice, potatoes and the necessary vegetables for human and animal consumption.
Recent studies confirm that observed climate change has already affected crop suitability in many areas, resulting in changes in the production levels of the main agricultural crops. These impacts are evident in many areas of the world, ranging from Asia (C. Chen et al., 2014; Sun et al., 2015; He and Zhou, 2016) to America (Cho and McCarl, 2017) and Europe (Ramirez-Cabral et al., 2016), and they particularly affect the typical local crops cultivated in specific climate conditions (e.g., Mediterranean crops like olive and grapevine, Moriondo et al., 2013a, b).
Temperature and precipitation trends have reduced crop production and yields, with the most negative impacts being on wheat and maize (Lobell et al., 2011), whilst the effects on rice and soybean yields are less clear and may be positive or negative (Kim et al., 2013; van Oort and Zwart, 2018). Warming has resulted in positive effects on crop yield in some high-latitude areas (Jaggard et al., 2007; Supit et al., 2010; Gregory and Marshall, 2012; C. Chen et al., 2014; Sun et al., 2015; He and Zhou, 2016; Daliakopoulos et al., 2017), and may make it possible to have more than one harvest per year (B. Chen et al., 2014; Sun et al., 2015). Climate variability has been found to explain more than 60% of the of maize, rice, wheat and soybean yield variations in the main global breadbaskets areas (Ray et al., 2015), with the percentage varying according to crop type and scale (Moore and Lobell, 2015; Kent et al., 2017). Climate trends also explain changes in the length of the growing season, with greater modifications found in the northern high-latitude areas (Qian et al., 2010; Mueller et al., 2015).
Trends in actual crop yields indicate that reductions as a result of climate change remain more common than crop yield increases, despite increased atmospheric CO2 concentrations (Porter et al., 2014).

Taken together, the findings of studies on the effects of changes in temperature, precipitation, CO2 concentration and extreme weather events indicate that a global warming of 2°C is projected to result in a greater reduction in global crop yields and global nutrition than global warming of 1.5°C.

Food prices shall increase. A loss of 7–10% of rangeland livestock globally is projected for approximately 2°C of warming, with considerable economic consequences for many communities and regions.

At approximately 1.5°C of global warming (2030), climate change is expected to be a poverty multiplier that makes poor people poorer and increases the poverty head count (Hallegatte et al., 2016; Hallegatte and Rozenberg, 2017). Poor people might be heavily affected by climate change even when impacts on the rest of population are limited. Climate change alone could force more than 3 million to 16 million people into extreme poverty, mostly through impacts on agriculture and food prices (Hallegatte et al., 2016; Hallegatte and Rozenberg, 2017). Unmitigated warming could reshape the global economy later in the century by reducing average global incomes and widening global income inequality (Burke et al., 2015b). The most severe impacts are projected for urban areas and some rural regions in sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia.

The risks of declining ocean productivity, shifts of species to higher latitudes, damage to ecosystems (e.g., coral reefs, and mangroves, seagrass and other wetland ecosystems), loss of fisheries productivity (at low latitudes), and changes to ocean chemistry (e.g., acidification, hypoxia and dead zones) are projected to be substantially lower when global warming is limited to 1.5°C .

1 in 10 people worldwide live in extreme poverty.
Image: PovcalNet Sources: World Bank, Washington, DC, World Development Indicators; World Economic Outlook; Global Economic Prospects; Economist Intelligence Unit.

 

The only way to reduce the effect of environmental disasters is to be prepared before a disaster happens.

Being prepared for a catastrophic event is not just a matter of supporting people in emergency circumstances. Anticipation rather than reaction needs to become the approach for most humanitarian donors worldwide in order to save lives and leave no one behind.

Strengthening the emphasis on local communities can break the never-ending circle of humanitarian operations. The future of crisis-affected communities ultimately lies within themselves. Building a network of local advocacy practitioners might be a good starting point.

It is important that we try to call a halt to overconsumption which plays a major role in climate change and in the abuse of human resources and child labour. We also have to be aware that population migration and scarcity of resources like food and energy shall give rise to new conflicts. (The estimated number of climate refugees by 2050 is 250 million people.)
Encouraging better use of natural resources, stopping massive deforestation as well as making agriculture greener and more efficient should be one of the priorities.

Together we can try to consume less and to use our sources better. For sure we do not have to think electric cars would be a good solution. Electricity has to be available and atomic waste is dangerously very polluting for hundreds of years.
Furthermore, we have to move away from fossil fuels looking for better alternatives like wind, biomass and geothermal. We may not forget that renewable energy from solar cells shall present also a lot of avoidable (dangerous and polluting) waste.

Hydrogen force may be too a good solution to think about. It can definitely help reduce CO2 emissions and thus fight global warming.
In order to reduce the CO2 emissions from buildings – caused by heating, air conditioning, hot water or lighting – it is necessary both to build new low energy buildings, and to renovate the existing constructions and looking for heatpumps and other systems to provide cold and warmth in the residency.

Adopting responsible consumption habits is crucial, be it regarding food (particularly meat), clothing, cosmetics or cleaning products. Last but not least, recycling is an absolute necessity for dealing with waste.

We may not forget that reducing the greenhouse gas emissions shall not only have an impact at global warming of 1.5, 2, 4 and 6°C but shall have implications for food, water security, energy security, flooding, infrastructure, ecosystems, health, and human migration.
The increase in global mean surface temperature (GMST), which reached 0.87°C in 2006–2015 relative to 1850–1900, has increased the frequency and magnitude of impacts (high confidence), strengthening evidence of how an increase in GMST of 1.5°C or more could impact natural and human systems (1.5°C versus 2°C).

We can not ignore that global warming results in more ice water melting and bringing an increase in the frequency and duration of marine heatwaves. Further, there is substantial evidence that human-induced global warming has led to an increase in the frequency, intensity and/or amount of heavy precipitation events at the global scale, as well as an increased risk of heavy rain- and thunderstorms plus extreme drought and destructing fires in the Mediterranean region. Trends in intensity and frequency of some climate and weather extremes have been detected over time spans during which about 0.5°C of global warming occurred.

Robust global differences in temperature means and extremes are expected if global warming reaches 1.5°C versus 2°C above the pre-industrial levels. For oceans, regional surface temperature means and extremes are projected to be higher at 2°C compared to 1.5°C of global warming. Temperature means and extremes are also projected to be higher at 2°C compared to 1.5°C in most land regions, with increases being 2–3 times greater than the increase in GMST projected for some regions. Robust increases in temperature means and extremes are also projected at 1.5°C compared to present-day values. There are decreases in the occurrence of cold extremes, but substantial increases in their temperature, in particular in regions with snow or ice cover.

Having the seawater rising shall be chasing away many coastal residents and island residents from their submerged lands.

Climate-related hazards are posing additional difficulties to these countries and to the humanitarian organizations that work to save and protect the millions of people in need. The University of Exeter estimates that a rise in global temperatures of 4°C would affect the lives of more than 1.8 billion people, causing devastating effects due to flash floods, droughts and higher exposure to natural disasters. This shall have an economic impact on the states but also on the local people themselves who shall undergo much more pressure financially to keep their head above water.

Poverty shall increase.

A daily income of less than $2 per person is the internationally recognized threshold for extreme poverty. According to the World Bank, roughly 1 in 10 people worldwide live below this threshold, and 85% of them are concentrated in the top 20 countries most vulnerable to climate change.

Depending on future socio-economic conditions, limiting global warming to 1.5°C, compared to 2°C, may reduce the proportion of the world population exposed to a climate change-induced increase in water stress by up to 50%, although there is considerable variability between regions. Regions with particularly large benefits could include the Mediterranean and the Caribbean. Socio-economic drivers, however, are expected to have a greater influence on these risks than the changes in climate. The global terrestrial land area projected to be affected by ecosystem transformations (13%, interquartile range 8–20%) at 2°C is approximately halved at 1.5°C global warming to 4% (interquartile range 2–7%). Above 1.5°C, an expansion of desert terrain and vegetation would occur in the Mediterranean biome, causing changes unparalleled in the last 10,000 years.

Risks of water scarcity shall make it more difficult to have regular crops of rice, potatoes and the necessary vegetables for human and animal consumption.
Recent studies confirm that observed climate change has already affected crop suitability in many areas, resulting in changes in the production levels of the main agricultural crops. These impacts are evident in many areas of the world, ranging from Asia (C. Chen et al., 2014; Sun et al., 2015; He and Zhou, 2016) to America (Cho and McCarl, 2017) and Europe (Ramirez-Cabral et al., 2016), and they particularly affect the typical local crops cultivated in specific climate conditions (e.g., Mediterranean crops like olive and grapevine, Moriondo et al., 2013a, b).
Temperature and precipitation trends have reduced crop production and yields, with the most negative impacts being on wheat and maize (Lobell et al., 2011), whilst the effects on rice and soybean yields are less clear and may be positive or negative (Kim et al., 2013; van Oort and Zwart, 2018). Warming has resulted in positive effects on crop yield in some high-latitude areas (Jaggard et al., 2007; Supit et al., 2010; Gregory and Marshall, 2012; C. Chen et al., 2014; Sun et al., 2015; He and Zhou, 2016; Daliakopoulos et al., 2017), and may make it possible to have more than one harvest per year (B. Chen et al., 2014; Sun et al., 2015). Climate variability has been found to explain more than 60% of the of maize, rice, wheat and soybean yield variations in the main global breadbaskets areas (Ray et al., 2015), with the percentage varying according to crop type and scale (Moore and Lobell, 2015; Kent et al., 2017). Climate trends also explain changes in the length of the growing season, with greater modifications found in the northern high-latitude areas (Qian et al., 2010; Mueller et al., 2015).
Trends in actual crop yields indicate that reductions as a result of climate change remain more common than crop yield increases, despite increased atmospheric CO2 concentrations (Porter et al., 2014).

Taken together, the findings of studies on the effects of changes in temperature, precipitation, CO2 concentration and extreme weather events indicate that a global warming of 2°C is projected to result in a greater reduction in global crop yields and global nutrition than global warming of 1.5°C.

Food prices shall increase. A loss of 7–10% of rangeland livestock globally is projected for approximately 2°C of warming, with considerable economic consequences for many communities and regions.

At approximately 1.5°C of global warming (2030), climate change is expected to be a poverty multiplier that makes poor people poorer and increases the poverty head count (Hallegatte et al., 2016; Hallegatte and Rozenberg, 2017). Poor people might be heavily affected by climate change even when impacts on the rest of population are limited. Climate change alone could force more than 3 million to 16 million people into extreme poverty, mostly through impacts on agriculture and food prices (Hallegatte et al., 2016; Hallegatte and Rozenberg, 2017). Unmitigated warming could reshape the global economy later in the century by reducing average global incomes and widening global income inequality (Burke et al., 2015b). The most severe impacts are projected for urban areas and some rural regions in sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia.

The risks of declining ocean productivity, shifts of species to higher latitudes, damage to ecosystems (e.g., coral reefs, and mangroves, seagrass and other wetland ecosystems), loss of fisheries productivity (at low latitudes), and changes to ocean chemistry (e.g., acidification, hypoxia and dead zones) are projected to be substantially lower when global warming is limited to 1.5°C .

1 in 10 people worldwide live in extreme poverty.
Image: PovcalNet Sources: World Bank, Washington, DC, World Development Indicators; World Economic Outlook; Global Economic Prospects; Economist Intelligence Unit.

 

The only way to reduce the effect of environmental disasters is to be prepared before a disaster happens.

Being prepared for a catastrophic event is not just a matter of supporting people in emergency circumstances. Anticipation rather than reaction needs to become the approach for most humanitarian donors worldwide in order to save lives and leave no one behind.

Strengthening the emphasis on local communities can break the never-ending circle of humanitarian operations. The future of crisis-affected communities ultimately lies within themselves. Building a network of local advocacy practitioners might be a good starting point.

It is important that we try to call a halt to overconsumption which plays a major role in climate change and in the abuse of human resources and child labour. We also have to be aware that population migration and scarcity of resources like food and energy shall give rise to new conflicts. (The estimated number of climate refugees by 2050 is 250 million people.)
Encouraging better use of natural resources, stopping massive deforestation as well as making agriculture greener and more efficient should be one of the priorities.

Together we can try to consume less and to use our sources better. For sure we do not have to think electric cars would be a good solution. Electricity has to be available and atomic waste is dangerously very polluting for hundreds of years.
Furthermore, we have to move away from fossil fuels looking for better alternatives like wind, biomass and geothermal. We may not forget that renewable energy from solar cells shall present also a lot of avoidable (dangerous and polluting) waste.

Hydrogen force may be too a good solution to think about. It can definitely help reduce CO2 emissions and thus fight global warming.
In order to reduce the CO2 emissions from buildings – caused by heating, air conditioning, hot water or lighting – it is necessary both to build new low energy buildings, and to renovate the existing constructions and looking for heatpumps and other systems to provide cold and warmth in the residency.

Adopting responsible consumption habits is crucial, be it regarding food (particularly meat), clothing, cosmetics or cleaning products. Therefore the governements should stimulate re-use of materials and stimulate secondhandshops and thrift stores. Recycling is not only an absolute necessity for dealing with waste, but can contribute to lesser use of grounfdmaterials to produce the products in the first place.

About Marcus Ampe

Retired dancer, choreographer, choreologist Founder of the Dance impresario office and archive: Danscontact-Dansarchief plus the Association for Bible scholars, the Lifestyle magazines "Stepping Toes" and "From Guestwriters" and creator of the site "Messiah for all". - Gepensioneerd danser, choreograaf, choreoloog. Stichter van Danscontact-Dansarchief plus van de Vereniging voor Bijbelvorsers, de Lifestyle magazines "Stepping Toes" en "From Guestwriters" en maker van de site "Messiah for all".
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3 Responses to Reducing effects of environmental disasters

  1. Pingback: After the Summer-holiday thinking even more about God’s creation – Belgian Ecclesia Brussel – Leuven

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