Climate Change Part II
4: The climate of the future
There is great uncertainty about the choir quickly the climate will change in the future. Very much depends on how the emissions of greenhouse gases will develop. It again depends on the will of the people – voters and politicians, especially in large consumer countries – to reduce the problem and whether we manage to produce international agreements to regulate emissions, which most countries will join and abide by.
But emissions and uncertainty are also closely linked to general socio-economic development in the world – economic growth, population development, technological development and cordon growth are distributed between rich and poor. According to DISEASESLEARNING, the UN Climate Panel has created a scenario for the climate of the future, with various assumptions about these factors. They believe that the temperature week during this century can be between +1.5 and +5.5 ºC. In other words, the uncertainty is very large.
An increase in the global mean temperature will have different effects on different places on earth. Met.no has long made “weather reports” for a hundred years for Norway under various assumptions about global warming. If the average temperature increases by between 2.5 and 3.5 ºC globally before 2100, a temperature week in Norway of between 2 and 3.5 ºC is expected, depending on where in the country and what season one is watching. In general, the temperature week is greatest where it is cold from before and in winter. The winter in northern Norway will thus be significantly milder, while the temperature week in south-eastern Norway in the summer may be relatively moderate.
Precipitation will increase by more than ten percent on a national basis – differently distributed by region and season. The largest precipitation week will be in Western Norway, and especially in the autumn, when the increase can be up to 25 percent. The summer in Southeast Norway, on the other hand, can be drier.
5: Weter, warmer and wilder weather?
Many are concerned about whether climate change will lead to more extreme weather. It is not rejected, but no one can say for sure that it will become more common. The reason for the awareness surrounding this is, of course, that storms, cyclones and intense rainfall can trigger natural disasters with great destruction and loss of many lives. At the same time, it turns out in the aftermath of such incidents that many injuries could have been avoided if humans had been better prepared .
However, any prevention of damage during natural disasters will always have to be based on forecasts that are associated with uncertainties. It is impossible to determine in advance when disasters will occur or how dramatic they will be. The only thing we know for sure is that climate change introduces another element of uncertainty in these assessments. In other words, the uncertainty is clearly greater. That in itself is enough that more emphasis should be placed on preventive measures and planning of relief measures for those who are affected.
6: Consequences of climate change
To say something about the consequences of climate change in advance is associated with great uncertainty. In addition, climate change is affecting different parts of the world in different ways and at different rates . The consequences will thus vary considerably. In large parts of Norway, we see that the climate is a little different than before, without us being able to say it for sure – for man’s memory rarely extends over more than a couple of years.
Elsewhere on the globe, the changes are already significant . Satellite image of the ice sheet around the North Pole in 1979 and in 2003 (see photo) is not a pleasant sight. The picture from the North Pole shows that climate change leads to extensive changes in the entire natural system around us. The ice is melting, the sea is getting warmer and expanding and causing the sea level to rise. Growth conditions for plants and trees are changing – for the better in some places, for the worse in other places. This also changes the living conditions for animals and humans.
The more dependent a society is on the natural environment, which changes with the climate, the greater the consequences of climate change for this society. This is one of the reasons why poor countries are considered far more vulnerable to climate change than rich countries. In poor countries, a larger part of the population is more directly dependent on nature in order to survive. A larger part live on agriculture or fishing, and the industry is often also closely linked to the country’s natural resources. In addition, the population in poor countries has less preconditions for adapting if the natural basis on which they live changes. They have less education and little prospect of moving to find work.