Logo South Asian Disaster Knowledge Network
Search:
Site Search Google   GO
Bullet Climate change
Home » Themes &Issues » Environmental » Climate Change

Climate change and disaster risk reductions are two very closely linked topics. With the increasing number of extreme weather events disasters are likely to become a recurring feature. For most people however, the expression climate change refers to the alteration in the world's climate that human beings are causing through the increasing use of Green House Gases and burning fossil fuel. The definition conjured by the United Nation Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is that much of the climate change is attributed
"directly or indirectly to human activities that alters the global composition of the global environment and which is in addition to the natural climatic variability observed over a period of time."

Scientist however, defines climate change as any change occurring in the climate whether arising from human or natural causes. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) defines climate change as

"a change in the state of climate that can be identified by changes in the means and /or variability of its properties, and that persists for an extended period, typically decades or longer."

The Earth's climate has undergone a considerable amount of change in the past. This is evident from the ice age and the changing levels of the sea. The root cause of these changes is always not clear but they can be attributed to various natural activities. As the Earth witnesses yet another climatic change the difference this time is that the Global Temperatures have risen in the past few decades. Now the Scientists have long been aware that the Green Hose Gases present in our atmosphere act as a "blanket" that trap incoming solar energies and keep the Earth’s surface warmer that it otherwise would be. Therefore an increase in the atmospheric green house gases would lead to additional warming. This can then further increase the Earth's vulnerability to extreme events thereby affecting the key resources and generating a hazard that could possibly lead to a disaster.

Climate Change will affect all countries but those poorest will be hardest hit. The population in these countries tends to live in high risk areas and many of them are highly dependant on the climate sensitive sectors such as agriculture and have very limited means to cope with climatic changes. The changes in the climatic sector are expected to reduce income and affect life. With respect to the SAARC countries the sustainable development in this region is likely to be challenged as climatic changes are to compound the pressures that rapid urbanization, industrialization and economic development have placed on the resources. The continuous melting of glaciers can result in floods in the rising of sea levels.

It is important to remember that Natural Hazards themselves directly do not cause disasters. It is the combination of ill preparedness along with hazards that can potentially result in a disaster. Climate change will be responsible in increase in disaster risks by firstly, in weather and climate hazard and secondly, increase the vulnerability of the communities towards these hazards. Finally, there is yet another concern that with climate changes there might be an increase in the level of environmental degradation rapid unplanned growth there by resulting in the reduced ability to cope with the existing resources.

Sources: UNISDR
Weblinks
Weekly Disaster Updates
Software Developed by Tata Consultancy Services Limited. Copyright © 2009 SADKN, All Rights Reserved                     
57
  Concurrent Users:
1142811
Number of hits: