GreenSuite is committed to posting the latest Climate Change events and articles in hopes that we can in some way enable our audience to stay abreast of the wealth of information being published on this subject.
As an introduction to the section of links, we asked Dr. Michael Hamnett at the University of Hawaii, Manoa Campus if he would comment on the inherent risks and the primary impacts associated with climate change.
GreenSuite is pleased to present the following introductory article.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) defines Global
Climate Change in the following way, "Climate Change refers to any
significant change in measures of climate (such as temperatures, precipitation,
or wind) lasting for an extended period (decades or longer). Climate change
may result from natural factors, natural process, or human activities
that change the atmospheres composition (e.g. through the burning of fossil
fuels) and the land surface (e.g. deforestation, reforestation urbanization
and desertification) ".
Global Climate Change Risks
Global warming from the burning of fossil fuel will result in more extreme weather events in many parts of the world. Droughts and will be more frequent for those that suffer from these hazards during El Niño events. These hazards will affect agriculture and livestock businesses and the management of municipal water supplies.
Global warming will result in longer growing seasons for northern latitudes and new agricultural opportunities in some areas. It may also result in an increase in agricultural pest losses in areas that experience warmer winters.
Shifts in tropical cyclone patterns associated with El Niño events will also become more frequent. Some areas that rarely suffer the impacts of hurricanes, typhoons and cyclones will see significant increases in windstorm risks. Others, including the Caribbean, may see a decrease in hurricane activity. Where the frequency of tropical cyclones increases, the risks to infrastructure and agriculture also increase.
Glaciers and polar ice caps are already melting at an alarming rate. Areas that rely on snow for recreation businesses are suffering from warmer winters. Cities and farmers that rely on snow pack fresh water supplies will very likely see water shortages.
Large cities will see an increase in the number of extreme high temperature
days putting the poor and elderly at risk. Electric and gas utilities
will see declines in winter heating demand and increases in the use of
air conditioners driving summer peak loads to all time highs.
Global warming will also have an impact on human and animal health. Disease like malaria and dengue fever are likely to move into more northern latitudes and higher altitudes as temperatures increase. Changes in climate could also result in mutations and the emergence of new strains for communicable diseases.
New technologies will be required to address the negative consequences of global warming and to significantly reduce the emission of greenhouse gases.
This is just a broad-brush analysis of what is coming. Many writers today are working daily to help define the future of our planet. The problem is acute, and, because of the enormity of what is ahead, the 2007 Nobel prize was awarded this year to Al Gore and the United Nations IPCC for their extensive work in this area.
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Sept 24, 2007 Speech by
Mr. Rajendra Pachauri - Chairman of the IPCC The IPCC Online Resources US Global Change Research Program: Data and Information EPA's Climate Change Site U.S. Global Climate Change Policy Center for Climate and Energy Solutions: News Center for Climate and Energy Solutions: Events and Summits Western Climate Initiative Announces Regional Emissions Target
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