Global warming and its effects on developing countries
How is it affecting us?
According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) the average global temperature near the Earth’s surface has increased approximately 1.33 degrees Fahrenheit during the one hundred (100) year period ending in 2005.i The IPCC reached this conclusion to explain the warming: “most of the observed increase in globally averaged temperatures since the mid-twentieth century are very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations” via the greenhouse effect. They add that other natural phenomena such as solar variations combined with the effects of volcanoes contributed to a small warming effect that started in the pre-industrial times and continued until the 1950s. They also attribute those same factors to a small cooling effect from the 1950s to the present.
Climate model projections summarized by the IPCC suggest that the average global surface temperature will likely rise a further 2.0 to 11.5 degrees Fahrenheit during the twenty-first century. The range in temperature values is the result of the use of differing scenarios of future greenhouse gas emissions as well as models with differing climate sensitivity. These increases in the global surface temperature will cause sea level(s) to rise and is also expected to increase the intensity of extreme weather events as well as changing the amount and pattern of precipitation. Experts also feel that global warming will include changes in agricultural yields, glacier retreat, species extinctions and increases in the ranges of disease vectors.ii
Adaptation and mitigation of the effects of global warming
The broad agreement among climatological scientists that global temperature will continue to increase has led some nations, states, corporations and individuals to implement actions in an effort to curtail global warming or to adjust to it. One such action that has been suggested is a quota on world-wide fossil fuel production citing a direct link between fossil fuel production and CO2 emissions. Businesses are also taking action on climate changes including increased energy efficiency and limited use of alternatives to fossils fuels.
Another major step towards combating global warming took place in 1997 with approval of the Kyoto Protocol. Currently it covers more than one hundred sixty (160) countries which accounts for over fifty five percent (55%) of global greenhouse gas emissions. Currently the only countries that haven’t ratified the Kyoto Protocol are the United States and Kazakhstan. Citing “serious harm” to the United States economy and the exemption of “80 percent of the world, including major population centers” (such as China and India) from the treaty, President George W. Bush contends that the Kyoto Protocol is an unfair and ineffective method of addressing global climate change. Even so, President Bush has promoted improved energy technology as a means to combat the climatic changes.
A 2007 report by the IPCC concludes that no one technology or sector can be completely responsible for mitigating future warming. They did conclude, however, that there are key practices and technologies in various sectors such as energy supply, transportation and industry that should be implemented to reduce global emissions.
1.Source: Climate change 2007: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
2.Source: Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_warming)