Climate change ,21st Century Disaster What is a Disaster A disaster is a natural or man-made event that negatively affects life, property, livelihood or industry often resulting in permanent changes to human societies ecosystems and environments .Disasters manifest as hazards exacerbating vulnerable conditions and exceeding individuals and communities means tosurvive and thrive. Most of the catastrophic disasters seen below have occurred at a specific non-enduring in the 21st centuryA natural disaster is the effect of a natural hazard (e.g., flood, tornado, hurricane, volcanic eruption, earthquake, heat wave, or landslide). It leads to financial,environmental or human losses. The resulting loss depends on the vulnerabilityof the affected population to resist the hazard, also called their resilience. Some times the term natural has consequently been disputed because the events simply are not hazards or disasters without human involvement. Below are some pictures illustrating some disasters in the 21st century
Avalashes Tornadoes Cyclones Bushfires Climate ChangeLooking at these pictures above, it is seen that ,these above mentioned disasters wherewitnessed in some parts of the world in the 21st century and if ,action is not takennow, we will likely have these disasters in the future.Climate Change and its impacts, challenges and adaptationsTalking on climate change ,which is one of the most disturbing disaster around the worldtoday, terrestrial and extraterrestrial factors contribute to its existence. Various modelspredict significant temperature rise for the planet in the near future if action is not taken.Complex anthropogenic interactions appear to contribute cumulatively and to acceleratethe on-going process of global warming .Looking at the extensive deforestation of ourlarge surface area on the earth ,this has really contributed much in the significant changes
In the water and radiation balance of the planet.Other anthropogenic impacts in the climate include Land –originating pollution due to increase in urbanisation and industrialisation and increase in the use of fusil fuels .Thus ,the resulting global warming and the rising sea level will have serious short and long –term impacts in human and animal life on our planet. The effect of global warming on weather patterns may also account for an apparent increase in the frequency and intensity of weather –relateddisasters.Weather-related disasters are impacting upon mankind with relentless frequency and intensity which have taken a heavy toll in the recent years.Similarly,man –made disasters caused by chemical spills ,civil strife and wars not only constitute a clear and ever present danger of mankind ,but may also have cumulative long-term effects on climate.All areas of the world are affected by climate change and natural weather-related or man-made disasters;though the lesser –developed countries experience loses in humanlives and economy disaroportionate to their resources .Often ,such major natural and man-made disasters resullt in complex humanitarian emaergencies that seriously compromise the socioeconomic developement in affected nations and regions of the globe,creating escalating demands in rapidly diminishing international resources.
There are many speculations and theories of what will happen to our global environment as climate change continues to increase at rapid rate. Apart from changes in the ecology of the global environment, climate also leaves a print a print on human health, for the human body is made to endure a multiple of changes in the environment. For example ,we store fat to stay warm during colder times of the year and sweat to keep our bodies from overheating when places becomes too warm. However the human body is not meant towithstand extreme temperatures .Like we are experiencing in some parts of the world today like in sub Sahara Africa .This mostly affects the infant and elderly populations with weaker immune systems and body functions. such changes might result to increase in temperature worldwide resulting to an increase in mortality rate due to exhaustion and stroke. On the other hand, some places will experience longer periods of colder weather . Thus ,harshshifts from cold to hot can be determined to the human body and cause unnecessary stress on the cardiovascular systems. It should be noted that ,these changes will also affect both plants and crops through the most notable affect of climate change that is Precipitation . Most plants and crops grownin such highly precipitated areas will not be able to maintain their growth pattern or die out because they can not adjust to the climate changes. This means that people and animals depending on crops for income and food will have to find an alternative. The effects of climate change are widespread and require flexibility and commitment to address and overcome successfully.
Adaptations/Preventions and solutionsAdaptation is a process through which societies make themselves better able to cope with an uncertain future. Adapting to climate change entails taking the right measures to reduce the negative effects of climate change or making use or exploit the positive effects . In the absence of reliable predictions of future climate change ,much can nonetheless be done to minimize the impacts of climate change. Adaptivemanagement of water resources can be developed, reducing the emission of greenhouse-gas by making sure that we set an atmospheric carbon dioxide target that is low enough to avoid the point of no return .To achieve this ,we must not only eliminate greenhouse-gas emission ,but also remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and take urgent steps to cool the planet. Tree planting activities should be carried out widely across the nations,regions and individual reforestation companies ,which if performed properlywill result to the successful regeneration of a deforested area, and also help reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere . Managing wastes; reducing,reusing and recycling solid waste can decrease the amount of heat –trapping greenhouse gases you release.
Also ,Forest Restoration, that is; -Treatment; thinning and burning of smaller trees in the understory dampens the spread of wildlife ,protecting people and their homes. This improves the health ofover story trees making them better able to withstand disease, insects , and fires. As they grow in to larger ,older trees ,they become better places for wildlife. -Repair ; restoring damaged lands through tools ,such as removing failing roadsreplanting riparian areas ,and controlling and preventing spread of noxious weeds. -Investment; Provision of reinvestment opportunities for rural communities to maintain their long-standing contribution to the forestry industry. This will helpreduce forest fragmentation and prepare ecosystems for climate change over long term, hence a good investment for future. To conclude, developing countries which are suffering mostly from the impacts ofclimate change, should develop adaptation plans and able to finalize them. Like the National adaptation programs of Action of least developed countries. There is an urgency for developing countries to find ways to implement these plans although many countries lack the resources to carry out these plans.
Adaptation is already considered as a vital part of any future climate change regime. Within the UNFCCC and the international community, deliberations are building to find an effective means to tackle climate change, which is described by UN secretary General Ban Ki –Moon as the <defining issue ofour era>If there is delays in implementing adaptations in some of these most affected regions of climate change, and delays in financing some of the adaptation projects, this will lead to greater disasters or dangers to more people. For example ,extreme events such as droughts, floods, etc. Hence planning for climate change most involve consideration to related risksincluding those which have a slow onset, such as changes in temperature and precipitation leading to agricultural loses ,and those which happen more suddenly such as tropical storms and floods. There is also need for capacity-building ,education and training and public awareness .This is very important for local ,national and regional levels to enable developing countries most especially to adapt to climate change, through their tertiary centers ,universities and centers of excellence to be recognized by stakeholders and funders. It will also be an advantage is this program is introduced to schools. To educate future kids and youth.
Although climate change is a 21st century disaster, there are also many different disasters in the 21st century listed above which need to be prevented, preparedand response, and adapted in order to achieve the millennium development goalMDG of the 21st century .To achieve this ,the following key areas should be tackle by individuals, businesses, communities, countries, regions and the world at large. -Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger -Achieve universal primary education -promote gender equality and empower women -Reduce child mortality -Improve Maternal Health -Combat HIV/AIDS, Malaria and other diseases -Ensure Environmental sustainability -Develop a global partnership for development.
A global environment threat (climate change) is a call for concern to the entireworld.We should all stand up and face this challenge as to better our future and the environment. Produced by : Ekinde Ndode Standley University of Douala Cameroon.