Maruthi Balaji Bhaskar | Adaptation to the global changes of the environmental and geological environment.
Good morning and welcome to my presentation, and it is on Environmental Vulnerably and Adaptation to Global Climate Change. I’ll be going a little bit slowly so you can catch up. Myself, I am a ** Biology, I am from Texas Southern University.
Starting with… My first slide about the definition of weather, climate change and natural vulnerability.
So, when you say “weather”, weather is a ** with day-to-day changes in the climate. When you talk about climate, climate is, the long term, ** the outages and statistics; so, it is a long-term change, of multiple of years. So, how the temperature pattern is changing or the rainfall pattern is changing, that will call it as a climate. So, the difference between weather and climate is: one, climate is a long-term event, weather is a short-term event.
So, when we say climate change it refers to the long-term shifts in this pattern of the climate. So, whether it is a rainfall event or the hurricane events or the temperature, so, how it is going to change during the course of time. The climate change can be affected by the natural vulnerability or natural variability, how it changes due to the natural events during the course of time. The second thing is it can also be changed by the manmade events or anthropogenic causes.
When you say anthropogenic causes, the human activities links humans to the ** national systems making climate change more complex. So, how to reduce climate change, we can actually talk about mitigation. Mitigation is actions that reduces the sources or gases, which contribute to the warming of the climate system. The climate change is happening because of the greenhouse gases, what we are emitting, it involves the carbon dioxide, water vapor, chlorofluorocarbons, methane and so on. So, all these greenhouse gases what contributes together is called as the “greenhouse gases,” so it involves a big list.
Adaptation is… So, to combat the climate change we can actually talk about the adaptation. So adaption is the adjustment of the natural or human systems to actual or expected climate stimulate, or the ** which more leaves harm or exploits the beneficial opportunities. Climate change actually heightens these vulnerabilities of societies and ecosystems.
The second thing is sustainability. So, how to combat this climate change is by adapting for the sustainable mechanisms. So, one way to meet the sustainable ** is to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. So, we will keep on with the development, and at the same time we will be using the carbon sequestration methods and so on, so that we will not be altering the climate at a fast pace.
When you talk about the climate change paradigm, here you are having all this natural events.
So, in this case the water cycle, the carbon cycle, these are all the natural events, which happen during the course of time, hundreds of years these have been happening. So, into this equation, you can add the anthropogenic change of human change, so, with building of industries and building bigger cities; what you are seeing is a lot of human contribution, which involves all these greenhouse gases. So, you are having carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, ozone, chlorofluorocarbons. Once you have a lot of greenhouse gases, what you are seeing is there is an increase in climate change impacts. So, it can be the rising temperature and so on.
For that, to see where the climate change is happening, in the case of scientists, we depend of the data. So, in the case of the climate science there is a lot of data. You can actually go back to almost one hundred years and we are continuously taking a lot of data, so it can be the temperature. So, you can see here that temperature of the land, the sea, so all these air temperatures are increasing during the course of the last one hundred years. All these things you are actually seeing is “slope,” so, showing an increase in the temperature for the last one hundred years or more. And you can also see here the summer arctic ice is reducing. So, you can actually see an increase in the temperature and arctic ice is reducing. And that is all the scientific data, which is all available, you can actually download the data, you can actually see the data, which is a solid evidence because science in the data.
One particular ** is the greenhouse gas. So, when you look here, all this carbon dioxide. During the course of hundreds of years, you can see the carbon dioxide is all below 400ppm. During the course of the last 20 to 30 years we actually break the glass ceiling, so we almost hit the 400ppm. So, with the increase and we are above the 400ppm now. So, with the increase in the carbon dioxide, with the increase in the greenhouse gases we are actually seeing a lot of the global warming or greenhouse effect; where you are seeing increase in temperatures as a result of which you have a lot catastrophic events based on that. So, that is one greenhouse gas. In the same fashion you can actually see an increase of greenhouse gas for methane, water vapor and ozone and so on.
Here you can actually see the picture for the thousands of years you are actually seeing all the greenhouse gas was below 300ppm, so, during the course of the last couple of years we actually saw a shoot in the carbon dioxide. We are actually here because of the 400ppm and if we don’t stop this carbon dioxide, what will happen?
So, one, there can be an increase in the temperature, there can be heat stress on people, on crops, or there can be a sea level rise, more floods and droughts, stronger storms. During this year itself, within the U.S. we saw Harvey, we saw Irma, we saw Maria, all category 4 storms. So, we are seeing those events. So, tropical diseases no longer frozen, so once the temperature increases you can actually see more tropical diseases ** in the ** countries. We are seeing the spread of zika virus and so on. Ecological stresses on extinctions, losses for poor people in hard places who release little carbon dioxide. So, those are all the events, which will happen if the carbon dioxide keeps on increasing.
Where is this global warming happening, in which place? So, when you look at the entire globe, the entire Earth, oceans are the ones, which are absorbing a lot of heat. So, the oceans are heating up fast. So, followed by the oceans you have the atmosphere, continents, glaciers and so on. So, once the oceans warm up, you are actually seeing a change in the effect in the coral bleaching or the hurricanes that are becoming more stronger and so on; and it can also impact the fishes and the food production.
The climate tipping points… whether this climate change affects order* it is not at a reasonable area, so, the impacts can be global so it is affecting all the different areas. At the top you are actually seeing, this is the real time, which you can actually see on the NASA website. So, you can see that carbon dioxide right now is above 406ppm; the temperature increases in the last several years 1.7, arctic sea ice what you are seeing is minimum, land ice is again the minimum.
Within the United States, so, when we look at the data for the last, probably, 50 to 60 years we can actually see the tornados increased during the course of the time. So, whether the tornados, you are getting multiple tornados and they are getting more stronger.
Same is for cyclones, tropical cyclones and hurricanes. So, during the course of the last one hundred years this is all the data, because in science we believe in the data. With the data you can actually see the intensity of the hurricanes is increasing during the course of time. So, what happens? What can be the impacts of tomorrow’s climate problems include, because as the population ** one billion people right now, and most of these megacities are in the world. “Megacities” is any city which has more than ten million people, that is called a megacity. So, you can see all the megacities are all near the oceans or are near the beaches. So, during the course of time you are having a lot of people who are living along the seaside and you are seeing a sea level rise; so, there is a lot of vulnerable people. So, there is rising seal level, the coastal megacities are going to be impacted by that.
So, tomorrow’s climate problem includes… When you look at all the different crops with the increase in the carbon dioxide, with the increase in the temperature, what you are going to see is the alfalfa production, safflower, maize, most of the crops, the production, the yield will reduce with the increase in the temperature and high carbon dioxide. So, also when you look at the fisheries, most of the fisheries are getting depleted because the oceans are becoming harder, corals are bleaching; so, the fisheries’ production is reducing. So, that means there is an impact on the yield, the reduced crop yields and also the reduction in fisheries throughout the world.
Because of the climate change there can also be a lot of social implications. Once there is a reduced amount of food production or reduced food available for the entire world you can actually see a lot of global conflicts, you can also see there is a relationship between the temperature and the conflicts. So, if the temperature increases… So, we held the data to show there is a lot of increase in the wildlings also; the more the temperature there is more unrest.
Which countries are releasing more greenhouse gases? So, where you see all the countries in red, all the developer countries; most of Europe, most of North America and Canada; are ** releasing a lot of greenhouse gases because more carbon dioxide and methane and so on. But, who are impacted? So, all these areas, all the developing countries are impacted more because once you have an increase in the greenhouse gas or increase in methane, what you are seeing is an increase in temperature and reduced food production. So, once there is a reduction food production or reduce in the yield, which countries are affected? It’s mostly the developing countries, because the developing countries struggle from time to time for food and all those things. So, the producers are least impacted and the people who are producing less are going to be impacted.
So, population and energy usage are closely related as you hold more and more people so there is more use of energy; so it can be fossil fuels, petroleum, natural gas; so, when you look here we are actually depending more on the oil, coal and gas for our energy. So, here you can actually see most of our energy comes from the coal and natural gas, very less from the renewable resources like hydro solar power, biomass, biofuel, we’re getting there less. So, to adapt to this climate change we need to adapt more on the renewable resources so that we can actually reduce our dependency on the coal and natural gases. So that we can actually reduce the impact of the climate change into the future.
How can we actually mitigate or reduce? So, by producing more energy from the solar power, there are different ways. Once mechanism is concentrating solar power where you have the multiple solar panels so that you can actually build the light to one source and then you can actually produce more and more energy or you can more wind farms available, so you can make more wind farms. So, all these energy resources have zero carbon products so you can actually have no negative impacts on the climate with renewable resources.
There is one graph developed by a nation renewable energy lab. When you think of harvesting all the renewable resources, so the biomass winds, the solar energy, you can actually completely supply power for the entire U.S. So, if we can actually do that for one country, all the rest of the countries use less amounts of energy than the United States. So, that is definitely achievable, it can be done. The only thing is we need more commitment and more policies to support the renewable energy.
In conclusion, global warming is real, human activity is responsible for a large majority of warming since about the 20th century. Human reliance of fossil fuels is at the heart of the anthropogenic climate change. So, once we can actually reduce our dependence on the fossil fuels and go for the renewable resources, so there is definitely a way for adaptation for this climate change. Mitigation seeks: cut emissions like ** carbon capturance storage, higher energy efficiency and rendition, adaptation makes communities more resilient, skepticism and science is healthy, so we have a lot of skeptics denying climate change; but in science we believe in data; the data strongly shows there is an increase in all these different parameters of the greenhouse gases. And it is real, it is happening, so the hope is that with greater education like this, so we can actually…
Here is one part of an example we can actually brings stronger levels, I think this one is from hurricane Gustav, this is New Orleans; you can actually see all these areas were inundated and the *police officers* are picking there, looking at how much water level is there.
You need to, during the course of the adaptation, we probably need to make sure whether our big cities are there, we need to probably build them more inland, so not towards the seashores because as the sea level increases all the cities will be impacted; or we need to make stronger ** or more efficient pumping mechanisms.
This is a recent event, which happened in my hometown, which is in Houston, Texas. So, we had hurricane Harvey came on September 1st. We got 50 inches of rainfall; we measured the rainfall in feet. So, after 50 inches of rainfall you can actually see a lot of roads, everything was inundated and this is my current research going on. So, this is before Harvey. My home is under here, this is my county. You can actually see this part of the river is the Brazos River. During the course of hurricane Harvey, the river was swollen and it occupied the entire county, and you can actually see a lot of houses, a lot of communities, everything got inundated. So, there is a lot of property damage and so on.
And this is after hurricane Harvey, you had a lot of sediment, everything went into the Galveston Bay. So, this is before Harvey and this is after Harvey. After four-day rain the storm stopped, so, we had a lot of sediment into the Galveston Bay. The Galveston Bay is rich in a lot of oysters, so oysters are filter feeders, so most of our oyster industry was impacted by Harvey. So, we have completely decimated the oyster industry because of that. So, we had a lot of sediment, so there is a huge impact of Harvey on that.
I can leave it here. So, by adapting for the renewable recourses. One mechanism is also this one: flying solar carpets, so probably you can have a flying solar carpet so you can actually bring the energy back. So that is one idea there and with renewable resources there is a stronger economy that it can be more jobs, and there is a cleaner environment, and there is a clearly path for adaptation for this climate change.