Global hazards - the future

  • Created by: keeels
  • Created on: 09-05-14 17:06
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  • Global hazards - the future
    • Increasingly hazardous
      • global risk and uncertainty are increasing as many hazards increase in magnitude and frequency. This threatens major disruption to people and the environment
        • One problem associated with increasing risk and uncertainty is water shortages, which lead to reduced food security
          • Global warming causes changes in precipitation and temperature patterns
          • In some areas, this results in drier conditions, which leads to water shortages and a decreased ability to grow food
          • Many poorer parts of the world are affected in this way e.g sub- Saharan Africa
          • Poorer areas have less money to find technological solutions such as dams, or to import sufficient food supplies
          • Dehydration and famine can occur in areas where global warming has affected a vulnerable environment with a vulnerable population
        • Global warming affects the supply of water and food, and many developing countries have rapidly increasing population- so the vulnerability of the population is increased and the risk of a disaster is much higher
    • Conflict
      • The problems of food security and water shortages have caused political disputes between countries and can even lead to armed conflict. Conflicts can escalate at risk and uncertainty increase because of hazards like global warming
      • Egypt relies heavily on the river Nile for its water supply
      • The two main tributaries that feed the Nile flow through Ethiopia and Sudan
      • Egypt built a dam called the Aswan High Dam, which created a large lake to store water(Lake Nasser)
      • Droughts in the 1980s led to famine in Ethiopia and Sudan, but Egypt wasn't affected because enough was stored in Lake Nasser
      • If global warming continues to cause shortages of water and Ethiopia and Sudan increase their water use, Egypt's supply might be reduced
      • Egypt has stated that it's ready to use force to protect it's access to the waters of Nile.
      • Conflicts can occur within countries and between countries where any type of resource isn't enough to support the population - and this will only get worse as climate change affects the supply of resources
    • Conflict, famine, poverty and climate change
      • these problems increase the vulnerability of the population - they may become poorer and less healthy, and the infrastructure to provide help may become inadequate
      • Risk is increased where the population is vulnerable - a hazard may become a disaster
      • A country suffering other problems like famine won't have the resources to manage the impacts of any other global hazards such as global warming. The priority will be feed the nation, rather than reduce greenhouse gas emissions or stop deforestation
      • A downward cycle can occur where the hazards cause problems that eventually increase the risk of more hazards (positive feedback)
    • Biggest challenges
      • Global problems like famine, poverty and conflict cause massive loss of life, but global warming has the potential to cause much more loss of life and damage to property
      • It can be the cause of many other global problems and hazards (e.g famine, poverty and conflict)and can often worsen their effects -it's a conflict hazard
      • It's a long term hazard and the impacts may be permanent and irreverible
      • Global warming affects the entire planet whereas other problems tend to occur in more localised regions
    • Strategies
      • Increasing energy efficiency - making the energy we produce do more
      • Energy conservation- using less energy
      • Decreasing carbon emissions- directly slowing the rate of global warming
      • Increasing alternative energy use- using energy sources that produce less greenhouse gases
      • Reafforestation- replanting trees to increase CO2 uptake from the atmosphere
    • The Stern Review (2006)
      • Looked at the economics of climate change
      • It concluded that an investment of 1% of the world's GDP would be needed to prevent the worst effects of global warming
      • If this investment isn't made, GDP could be reduced up to 20% in the future


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