Adaptation and Mitigation - Sample Essay

The projected temperature increase for a range of stabilization scenarios (the colored bands). The black line in middle of the shaded area indicates ‘best estimates’; the red and the blue lines the likely limits. From the work of IPCC AR4. Some economists have tried to estimate the aggregate net economic costs of damages from climate change across the globe. Such estimates have so far yielded no conclusive findings; in a survey of 100 estimates, the values ran from US$-10 per tonne of carbon (tC) (US$-3 per tonne of carbon dioxide) up to US$350/tC (US$95 per tonne of carbon dioxide), with a mean of US$43 per tonne of carbon (US$12 per tonne of carbon dioxide). One widely publicized report on potential economic impact is the Stern Review.

It suggests that extreme weather might reduce global gross domestic product by up to one percent, and that in a worst-case scenario global per capita consumption could fall 20 percent. The report’s methodology, advocacy and conclusions have been criticized by many economists, primarily around the Review’s assumptions of discounting and its choices of scenarios. Others have supported the general attempt to quantify economic risk, even if not the specific numbers.

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Preliminary studies suggest that costs and benefits of mitigating global warming are broadly comparable in magnitude. According to United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), economic sectors likely to face difficulties related to climate change include banks, agriculture, transport and others. Developing countries dependent upon agriculture will be particularly harmed by global warming (Singer, S. F. & Avery, T. D. 2007). ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF GLOBAL WARMING Advantages Global has grown infamous due to the negative attributes associated with it. Despite this, global warming does have positive attributes, albeit controversial.

Global warming is characterized by increased levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Scientific studies have undisputedly demonstrated that plants use carbon dioxide to manufacture food in the photosynthesis process. Therefore with the increase of carbon dioxide, plants have the adequate resources to manufacture more food and grow healthier. This fact has increased hope for agricultural dependent societies due to the higher prospects of more production especially in the recent food crisis faced all around the world. (Philander, S. G. 1998). The second advantage of global warming regards the thawing of the arctic and the Antarcticice.

The melting of this ice has led to the exposure of land which has enabled the arctic communities to pursue planting of crops for a living. (Johansen, B. E. 2006). The disadvantages of global warming far outweigh the advantages. The effects of global warming have brought with them catastrophic happenings including unfavorable weather occurrences, and the emergence of extra costs in dealing with the effects. In the recent past the world has experienced unpredictable and unfavorable weather that includes Elninos, Laninas, Tsunamis, cyclones among other devastating effects.

Extra costs have been incurred in seeking to mitigate and address the effects of global warming. Various companies that have been accused of propagating global warming through pollutant emissions have been forced to change their modes of production and manufacturing processes to suite the required regulations carried forward by governments.

These actions have led to the increase in production costs. The broad agreement among climate scientists that global temperatures will continue to increase has led some nations, states, corporations and individuals to implement actions to try to curtail global warming or adjust to it. Many environmental groups encourage individual action against global warming, often by the consumer, but also by community and regional organizations. Others have suggested a quota on worldwide fossil fuel production, citing a direct link between fossil fuel production and CO2 emissions. There has also been business action on climate change, including efforts at increased energy efficiency and limited moves towards use of alternative fuels.

One recently developed concept is that of greenhouse gas emissions trading through which companies, in conjunction with government, agree to cap their emissions or to purchase credits from those below their allowances. (Weart, R. S. 2003). The world’s primary international agreement on combating global warming is the Kyoto Protocol, an amendment to the UNFCCC negotiated in 1997. The Protocol now covers more than 160 countries globally and over 55 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. Only the United States and Kazakhstan have not ratified the treaty, with the United States historically being the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gas.

This treaty expires in 2012, and international talks began in May 2007 on a future treaty to succed the current one. China and India, though exempt from its provisions as developing countries, have ratified the Kyoto Protocol. China may have passed the U. S. in total annual greenhouse gas emissions according to some recent studies. Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao has called on the nation to redouble its efforts to tackle pollution and global warming. (Houghton, J. T. 2004).

U. S. President George W.  Bush contends that the Kyoto Protocol is an unfair and ineffective means of addressing global climate change concerns, claiming it that it “exempts 80 percent of the world, including major population centers such as China and India, from compliance, and would cause serious harm to the U. S. economy. ” Bush has instead promoted improved energy technology as a means to combat climate change, while various state and city governments within the United States have begun their own initiatives to indicate support and compliance with the Kyoto Protocol on a local basis, such as the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. The U. S. Climate Change Science Program is a joint program of over 20 U. S. federal agencies working together to investigate climate change.

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