TheEffects of Climate Change
2.0 Background Literature 3
3.0 Effects of Changing Climatic Conditions in Canada 5
4.0 Case Study: 5
4.1 Forest Cover in Canada 5
4.2 Effects on Agriculture 6
5.0 Recommendations 7
6.0 Conclusion 8
7.0 Bibliography 9
TheEffect of Climate Change
ClimateChange is an international issue which is of concern to everycountry. Many precautions, including the reduction of greenhouse gasemissions by using alternative energy supplies such as solar and windpower have resulted in few gains. The rate at which the ozone layeris destroyed has not reduced significantly. This has led to adverseeffects on the world’s social, economic and environmental aspects.The scientific community has predicted a bleak future for mankind ifdrastic measures are not employed to reduce the climate changeadvancement in the world.
Thepurpose of this report is to provide a comprehensive analysis whichwill cover all the aspects of climate change by analyzing its effectson Canada. It will include the measures taken to reduce theadvancement of the adverse effects to the economic, social andenvironmental setup. Because Canada has a vast land mass, theanalysis of the climate change will focus on a particular region. Ihave chosen Canada because of its diverse geographical diversity.
Climatechange has resulted in shifts in the climatic pattern in Canada. Ithas become difficult to predict the expected weather conditions of aregion. Research conducted by the Intergovernmental Panel on ClimateChange (IPCC), has shown that the global temperatures are projectedto increase by 4.4 °C in the current century. In the 20th century,global temperatures rose by 0.6°C. Canada is located in a high–latitude region where the effects of warming due to greenhousegasses are significant compared to areas of low –latitude. Theincreased1temperature will be more pronounced in the northern and southernprairies. Canada 2occupiesa large piece of land on earth and therefore, the warming experiencedwill vary depending on the region.
Challengesbrought by the adverse effects of the climate change keep fluctuatingbecause of the changing rate of the ozone layer destruction. Somedeveloping countries such as Kenya keep on increasing theircontribution of greenhouse gasses even though their percentagecontribution is lower than developed countries. Industrialization hasbrought substantial economic gains to all the countries that areindustrialized. People get jobs in factories where production istechnologically advanced. Therefore, such countries have highemissions of greenhouse gasses compared to other nations. MostAfrican countries have a small greenhouse gas emission rate.
Researchershave over the years uncovered the major causes and solutions that canbe applied to save the world from eminent destruction. The UnitedNations through its environmental agency, UNEP (United NationsEnvironmental Program), has conducted a lot of awareness on theimportance of protecting Mother Nature so that it can sustain bothour lives and that of the future generations. Throughadvertisements, organizing tree planting occasions, facilitating thesigning of agreements with both small and large producers ofgreenhouse gasses commitment to reduce the overall emissions bymeeting the target set for their country, rewarding individuals whohave contributed a lot of environmental initiatives among otherthings.
3.0Effects of Changing Climatic Conditions in Canada
Thecountry has experienced variations in the distribution of species,increasing sea level, diminishing ice cover on the sea and thehighest and lowest warming temperatures. More research from the IPCChas shown increased rainfall. The country also faces extreme weatherconditions which is one of the characteristics of climate changecaused by depletion of the ozone layer. Therefore, very hightemperatures and excessive rainfall have been witnessed in someregions of the country.
Seasonalchanges have an effect on the warming characteristics experienced inCanada. During the winter, the warming effect is more pronounced thanother seasons. The nights experience more warm than the day.Different regions are affected more than others, and thus the peopleof Canada are affected differently. Warming is followed by variationsof the climatic characteristics of a particular area. These climaticvariations include changes in the features of the localized climate,shifts in the rainfall patterns, frequency shifts and modificationsin the level of extreme weather occurrences. As mentioned earlier,Canada is a large country and therefore, the climatic variations donot occur uniformly in the whole country. Thus, the environmentalimpact is different in various regions of the country.
4.0Case Study: 4.1Forest Cover in Canada
Forestsare vital resources in any country. Forest covers half of Canada’ssize and plays a significant role in the Canadian economy. It is asource of raw materials for building houses and a tourist attractioncenter because of the scenery that it creates. A slight change in theclimatic factors can significantly influence the growth and survivalof the forest cover. Trees are known to be sensitive to changes intemperature and rainfall3.Tree growth patterns have changed, and a warmer atmosphere hasresulted in the increase of plant growth because of the recordedone-degree increase in the atmospheric temperatures. In future, thedistribution of tree species, disturbance regimes and productivity ofthe forests is expected to change due to the increasing climaticchanges.
Thetree line is steadily shifting toward the north where the altitude ishigher this is evidenced by the shifting of the tree line to higherslopes in the Central Canadian Rockies. The shifting tree line is adisadvantage to the surrounding communities who depend on trees astheir source of livelihood. With the increasing rate of climaticchange, trees will reach a point where species cannot keep up withthe drastically changing environment. Eventually, other factors suchas soil limitation and a fragmenting habitat will affect migrationnegatively. An audit conducted in the Canadian forests show that thefrequency of wildfires has increased over the last twenty four years. This has resulted in the death of a variety of rare species of treesand animals, therefore threatening the tourism industry, which relieson the ecosystem established in the forest.
4.2Effects on Agriculture
Agricultureis an important part of Canada’s economy. Since crops rely onweather, climate change has a significant role in the farmingpractices of the Canadian people. The studies conducted have focusedmainly on the effects of warm atmospheric conditions and moisture oncrops. Frequent climatic changes can result in both benefits andchallenges to farmers. For instance, regions which have experiencedwarmer temperatures have a higher yield because of the extendedlength of the growing season. On the other hand, pests thrive in moretemperate climate. Therefore, many crops will be destroyed, andothers will experience heat stress.
Asurvey conducted has shown that crop yields of corn, which are foundin Alberta may increase while soybean in Quebec might not favor wellin some climatic conditions. Different agricultural plants havediverse returns depending on the climatic state of a region. SinceCanada is massive, and with varying geographical and weatherconditions, farmers have a task of determining which types of cropsare appropriate for the current climatic situation. A farmer’sgreatest fear in the effect of extreme weather conditions such asstorms and drought. These events are difficult to predict and whenthey occur, the result in large scale destruction of agriculturalproduce. For instance, in the year 2001, the country experienced along period of drought, which reduced the farmers` yields leading tolosses and food shortage in the country. Despite the varying climaticconditions of Canada, the drought effects were felt across thecountry. Increased heat is a challenge to livestock animals4.
Utilizingplanned adaptation where plans are made to tackle the expectedproblems that result from the unfavorable climatic condition such asextreme temperatures and rainfall. Therefore, forest practices arealtered to accommodate the anticipated changes the future climaticcondition of a region. For instance, we should plant tree specieswhich have a high resistance to adverse effects of extreme weather.To achieve a high success rate in the above plans, communicationbetween the forest management officials and researchers is crucial5.
Studiesshould be conducted to enable timely warning of extreme weatherconditions so that farmers can prepare well before committingresources and capital in agriculture
Theearth is our home, and we should protect it for future generations.Reducing the adverse effects of climate changes requires a collectiveeffort should be applied. Governments, Non-Governmentalorganizations, private enterprises and individuals should partnertogether to co-ordinate their efforts.
Government of Canada. 2014. "Canadas sixth national report on climate change."
Webb, R, and J Beh. 2013. " Leading adaptation practices and support strategies for Australia." National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility 119- 121.
Williams, R.A, and K McNutt. 2013. "Climate change adaptation and policy capacity in the Canadian fiance sector: a meso analysis." Review of Policy Research 91-113.
Williamson, T, H Hesseln, and M Johnston. 2012. "Adaptive capacity defiits and adaptive capacity of economic systems in climate change vulnerability." Forest Policy and Economics 160-166.
Wolfe, J, I Allice, and T and Bell. 2013. "Values, climate change and implications for adaptation: Evidence from two communities in Labrador, Canada." Global Environmental Change 548-562.
1 Government of Canada. 2014. "Canadas xixth national report on climate change."
2 Webb, R, and J Beh. 2013. " Leading adaptation practices and support strategies for Australia." National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility 119- 121.
3 Williams, R.A, and K McNutt. 2013. "Climate change adaptation and policy capacity in the Canadian fiance sector: a meso analysis." Review of Policy Research 91-113.
4 Williamson, T, H Hesseln, and M Johnston. 2012. "Adaptive capacity defiits and adaptive capacity of economic systems in climate change vulnerability." Forest Policy and Economics 160-166.
5 Wolfe, J, I Allice, and T and Bell. 2013. "Values, climate change and implications for adaptation: Evidence from two communities in Labrador, Canada." Global Environmental Change 548-562.