THE ENEMY IS MY FRIEND: CLIMATE CHANGE
It is very important to understand what climate Change is. According to the Met office, climate change has been defined as; I quote:
“Climate change is a large-scale, long-term shift in the planet’s weather patterns or average temperatures.”
With that definition one can say or interpret it as a bad/negative thing due to the various impacts and effects that are associated with this drastic changes in the weather, which most people would call it the “fear of the unknown”. As well with the constant changes in the planet’s weather pattern, this means impact on the various key weather aspects known in the world become more frequent in terms of change and their visibility even in parts of the world where they would have been known to be rare in their occurrence. These key weather aspects mentioned above are: rainfall, change in nature, sea level rise, retreating glaciers, sea ice, ice sheets. Those aspects are key due to the fact that, any alteration in the normality/original state or condition of that aspect when changed or affected by climate change, has great potential to increase the rate at which the already existing hazards will occur. As well the potential for these hazards to have a much greater impact than before due to the alteration of any of those factors. Now like already mentioned before, this in turn becomes a threat to people.
However, with the topic “THE ENERMY IS MY FRIEND: CLIMATE CHANGE”, the big question then is; is it really that much of a threat or there is more too it. If looked in a different view, maybe there is some good in the bad. Some might disagree with the status quo, but it’s good to explore the statement to see if it is only negative or carries some positivity to it.
MY FRIEND OR MY ENEMY
With the constant warming of the climate, the world has seen a drastic change in weather. Some have experienced the worst floods, some the worst droughts, lastly some the worst disasters such as Nepal, Hurricane Katrina just to mention a few. However, it is worth noting that, due to the negative impact of climate change, it has forced the world to develop new weather models. To quote Plato:
“necessity is the mother of all invention”.- (The Republic, 380BC)
Below are some examples:
According to NOAA (National Center for Environmental Information) this model in short provides datasets showing general climate conditions during the 20th century and projections into the 21st century based on various climate scenarios:
Designed by the WCRP (World Climate Research Programme). The model is designed to meet three objectives these being:
- assessing the mechanisms responsible for model differences in poorly understood feedbacks associated with the carbon cycle and with clouds.
- examining climate “predictability” and exploring the ability of models to predict climate on decadal time scales, and, more generally.
- determining why similarly forced models produce a range of responses.
These two models are just two examples of the many models that have been designed. These examples help to put it into perspective, that despite what climate change has done in the last decades, it’s through the impacts that models such as these have been successfully formulated and have helped people predict good response measures and tactics that have saved many lives and have reduced the impact a hazard would have been predicted to have. You may ask how that is possible? The answer is pretty simple. With the formulation of data filled models this such as the ones above this means the introduction of advanced technology. Just to mention a few technological platforms that have been created due to climate change and have not only dealt in the responsive phase but have operated more in the preparation which one can say they are more pro-active than reactive. The likes of the remote sensing systems that have seen to be changing the lives of those in Africa for example, especially in the eastern part of Africa. The remote sensing systems developed by The Regional Centre for Mapping of Resources for Development (RCMRD) uses this concept remote sensing to be able to predict changes in weather therefore making it easier for them to come up with accurate and reliable information for perfect time for harvesting. This system does is so well that framers get this information half way through their season giving them ample time to prepare. On that note the RCMRD has the flood systems and according to the experts they say this system I quote:
“flood monitoring is now regularly informed by remote sensing that obtains information on soil types, water resources, settlements, cropped areas and forests”.
Therefore farmers are more knowledgeable now in terms of perfect time, kind of crop, lastly the perfect place to grow crops due to the new advanced technology. A good visual example of similar technology such as the one developed by the RCMRD; is the remote sensing early warning and prediction systems being used by FEWSNET (Famine Early Warning Systems) in Ethiopia:
FEWSNET: Monitoring system Ethiopia
As well to just give a breakdown on how climate change has inspired innovative individuals to change the world through creation of technology that has saved the world here is a timeline of technology “early warning systems” and their impact they played in major events in the world:
There are more projects that are being carried out globally. However one which has changed the face of engineering and technology is the research by the Dutch on how climate change can help engineers devlop a new concept to enable societies to adapt and exist in the ever sea level rise. It is a new and innovative way that has been brought around by climate change. They have named this I quote: “Life Below Sea Level in the New Age of Climate-Change Engineering“. Its must read
There are more examples that could be explode in this article. However the few examples that have been laid out already paints the picture of where the world is now as a result of climate change. Yes it is true that climate change has affected populations and societies, however despite the negative impacts that has been seen. Climate change hasn’t just done harm but it has brought the world to a new era of technology and innovation. Through this, climate change has given them an added advantage in the fast and changing environment. It hasn’t only challenged scientist, engineers, educators, governments, NGOs but it has encouraged them to use it as an advantage into bringing about a world that can adapt and be resilient. If looked in a different point of view, one could say: “without climate change, innovation and technology today would not be where it is”. What that simply means is Climate change has helped the less privileged, vulnerable societies to adapt to the now and be able to prepare and reduce impacts that come as a result of change in weather and hazards. so this means being capable to prepare and reduce issues like; destruction of property, death, lastly hunger. Therefore there is good that is evident that climate change has brought. The biggest one being; playing a key role in advancement in life.
Feel free to ask questions. Hope you enjoyed.