Climatic Change And Its Effect On Society

Essay, Research Paper

Climatic Change and Its Effect on Society

There has been a significant climatic change that has taken place

throughout the years on Earth. These changes have effected society in more than

one way. However, there is nothing society can do about the long term influences

of climatic changes. Society has tended to address the short term effects of

climatic changes that influence the global temperatures within the life span of

present generations. The following will show how climatic changes does effect

society, health, and economics.

Society depends a lot on natural resources for various aspects. First of

all, society depends largely on forests to supply trees which in turn supply

wood for construction. Other resources include oil and animals (livestock). In

the focus of wood, there is the Western Canadian Boreal Forest which is a large

producer of wood for the United States construction industry. However, climatic

changes has had large and impacting effects on the construction industry.

Compared to eastern Canada, the southern boreal forest region of western Canada

has a relatively dry climate. Thus, drought effects are one of the major

concerns being addressed by researchers in this region. climate modellers have

predicted a large increase in temperature for this region, which could lead to

even drier conditions and enormous stresses on vegetation in the western

Canadian boreal forest. This type of impact was observed following the 1988

drought it experiences, when there was a die-back of aspen over extensive areas

of the aspen parkland in Western Canada. Associated with this drought was a

drying up of large lakes in the region. Another potential impact for the region

is a major increase in forest fires. This is due to the fact that fire frequency

is closely linked to moisture levels which are expected to decrease under

climatic change. Thus, it is noticed that with increased climatic change the

future that this forest has in supplying lumber is decreasing, and the

construction industry will face a slight drawback due to this. In this it is

noticed that, with a drawback in the construction industry’s output, will also

effect the economy and society. The economy will effect society and the decrease

in output means a decrease in jobs, which in effect hurts society.

Contrary to the example of the forests in Canada, is the information

found on its agriculture. Because average temperatures are expected to increase

more near the poles than near the equator, the shift in climatic zones will be

more pronounced in the higher latitudes. In the mid-latitude regions ( 45 – 60

latitude ), the shift is expected to be about 200-300 kilometers for every

degree Celsius of warming. Since today’s latitudinal climate belts are each

optimal for particular crops, such shifts could have a powerful impact on

agricultural and livestock production. For example, in the Canadian prairies,

the growing season might lengthen by 10 days for every 1oC increase in average

annual temperature.

Another example (Taken from sources on the net) is the impact of climate

change on water. Now, water is a survival of mankind, in general, but almost for

all life. Thus, if water was effected by climatic changes, so would society,

health, as well as economics be impacted by climatic changes. In areas where

climate change causes reduced precipitation, freshwater storage reserves,

primarily in the form of groundwater, will steadily shrink. Areas where more

precipitation was not matched by increased evaporation would experience floods

and higher lake and river levels. An increase in extreme events such as droughts

and floods would undermine the reliability of many critical sources. Diminished

snow accumulation in winter would reduce the spring run-off that can be vital to

replenishing lakes and rivers; a 10% decline in precipitation and a 1-2oC rise

in temperature could reduce run-off by 40-70% in drier basins. Worsening

droughts combined with the over-exploitation of water resources would cause salt

to leach from the soil, thus raising the salinity of the unsaturated zone (the

layer between the ground and the underlying water table). In coastal zones, a

lowered water table would also draw salt-water from the sea in the fresh

groundwater. At the same time, higher levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere

are expected to improve the efficiency of photosynthesis in plants, which could

in turn cause more rapid evapo-transpiration. Together, these various effects

would have extremely negative consequences for river watersheds, lake levels,

aquifers, and other sources of freshwater. As it is seen in the information

found, such consequences would in reality effect society, agriculture, and

economics. Society, would have lower levels of freshwater, agriculture would

also have lower levels of freshwater to survive on. Because of this, the economy

would be effected since more work will need to be enforced to revitalize the

sources of freshwater, or find more.

It can be seen through these previous examples, that society is effected

by various forms of climatic change. Thus, if society is effected, so is the

health of people within the society, and economics is also effected. It

basically is like a continual cycle that persists with a relation between

climatic changes and the effects it has on society, health, and economics.


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