My Conceptual Framework on Climate Change
Published 24th September 2009 - 8 comments - 6949 views -
Writing about climate change can be done in various ways. So what perspective to choose on that complex issue? Is it more about emotions or scientific evidence? Is it about environment preservation or solving complex social problems?
This post will try to describe my conceptual framework on climate change – how do I interpret this issue and how will I try to contribute to the ongoing debate.
- What climate change???
The climate is defined as the mean physical state of the climatic system. The climatic system is constituted by atmosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere, lithosphere and biosphere, which are intimately interconnected. Thus any change of the mean physical state does impact all components of the climatic system.
Now we are told by the PREVAILING group of climatologists that the human activity in the last 100-150 years has resulted in serious rise of the so-called greenhouse gases. The increase of greenhouse gases’ concentration in the atmosphere leads to an increase in global average temperatures, because more heat from the sun is stored on Earth.
This is climate change in a nutshell. What I am interested in are the various possible impacts of climate change on the other spheres, and biosphere in particular. Here is a list of things that are interesting for me in terms of the physical processes of climate change:
This list is not exclusive, but it shows the range of issues that I will be following on the scientific front.
- Climate change impacts the human societies
There are many claims that climate change is already impacting our societies. This is a list of dangerous impacts that may negatively affect, or even destroy, certain human societies:
Climate change is expected to affect mostly societies in developing countries that have insufficient resources even today. These societies are extremely vulnerable.
However, both armed conflict and human migration may impact societies otherwise unaffected by significant climate change. To put this in some perspective, today close to 80% of young people in the Maghreb region would like to immigrate to Western Europe.
- Policy options towards climate change
The policy options for climate change fall in two broad categories – mitigation and adaptation. Mitigation addresses the causes of climate change and aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Adaptation deals with preparing for future impacts of climate change.
A simplified policy framework would look like this:
Most of the controversial issues in the policy debate on climate change have to do with mitigation. However, adaptation is extremely important and should not be neglected by policy makers. I will try to write more about adaptation to climate change, since it is a pressing issue for many countries in the Mediterranean, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, and Central and Southern Asia.
- Other issues connected to climate change
Climate change is a complex topic and it touches various other concepts, processes and issues. I have listed a number of diverse topics that may possibly appear in this blog:
About the author
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