<< Chapter < Page Chapter >> Page >

Responding to climate change predictions: what if anything can be done about it

Short answer

We have seen that the world’s climate is changing, in part at least, because of the anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases, primarily carbon dioxide from fossil fuel. Humans have a choice that must be made soon; we will either mitigate the problems of climate change by a massive reduction of greenhouse gas emissions or adapt by changing our life style. Mitigation is the stabilization of the climate by the removal of some or of all the fossil fuel derived atmospheric carbon dioxide from the energy equation. Adaptation is action taken to cope with increased rainfall, higher temperatures, scarce water, and more frequent storms. Adaptation may need to tackle present problems or to anticipate changes in the future, aiming to reduce risk and damage cost-effectively, and perhaps even exploiting potential benefits. Somewhere in the middle of these two alternatives we will find an optimal path. It will depend on many factors and different approaches. Success will require an increase in available technology as well as shifts in the culture of people.

Detailed answer

Some of the ways that we can reduce our emissions of fossil fuel carbon dioxide and mitigate climate change are presented below

Immediately implementable with several tangible benefits

  • Increase the efficiency of vehicles and reduce the use of these vehicles.
  • Build more energy efficient buildings and equip them with energy efficient appliances.

Available technologies with some added costs

  • Increase the efficiency of coal and gas power plants, for example, by combining the production and use of both heat and power.
  • Use governmental incentives to improve the efficiency of existing technologies and to develop new clean energy technologies.
  • Establish policies such as a carbon tax or carbon cap and trade legislation to reduce and eventually stop the emission of atmospheric carbon dioxide.

Available technologies with some lead time required

  • Develop wind, photovoltaic and geothermal power as well as fuel from biomass and other newer technologies.

Potential technologies with decadal or multi-decadal time lines

  • Develop and construct new and safe nuclear power plants.
  • Continue to develop the technology to capture and sequester carbon in order to continue to use fossil fuel until the above-mentioned sources of renewable energy are developed.
  • Encourage the development of new and as yet un-thought of technologies to provide efficient and environmentally neutral energy sources.

The cost estimates of implementing mitigation measures or adapting to climate change vary a great deal. First, scientific knowledge about the physical and ecological damages due to climate change is a work in progress. Scientists have no accurate way to determine how rapidly future GHGs will accumulate in the atmosphere or how sensitive biological systems will be to increases in the concentration of those gases. We do not know at what GHG concentrations “tipping points” or catastrophic climate events may occur. It is difficult to estimate how willing or able people will be to adapt to new climate conditions. Finally it is virtually impossible to put a value on damage that will be incurred in the future.

Questions & Answers

why does it makes sense to let the sewage disposal company in your town have a monopoly?
Janice Reply
how might a monopoly affect price?
Janice
how might a monopoly affect prices?
Janice
The principle of Economic is one to be involved in any economic buying substance
Anastassiya Reply
what are the principle of economics?
oche Reply
What is (Qs)
Bigi Reply
What is (Qs) and (Qd)
Bigi
Quantity of supply and Quantity of demand
Dilshoda
Qs: Is quantity of supply and Qd: quantity of demand
Cabdikariim
give as me quantitys
ahmed
among all the definition of economics which of the definition is generally acceptable?
oche
i science that studies human behavior as a relationship between ends and scarcity that have alternative uses
ousman
okay......
oche
what are the principle of economics?
oche
what Make things scarce
Soudani Reply
why do we studied economic
Soudani
for the stability and growth of any reign.
Fayaz
what is macro economics.?
Fayaz
which part of economics is interesting..
Fayaz
how does economics define me
clement Reply
what are the factors that determines the demand and supply
sillah
what are the importance of Economics
Betty Reply
tell me something very important about economics..
Fayaz Reply
how may I solve arithmetic mean ,,,all example
Cee Reply
what is agriculture
Itoe Reply
simple method of understanding cost concept
Oludare Reply
what is inflation
Christiana Reply
Inflation is a general increase in price levels
Zuko
is the action of inflating something
Abdifatah
inflation is the persistent increase in general price level of goods and services in an economy over a considerable period of time .
Tetteh
inflation is the general increase of a commodity in a particular period of time.
Turay
inflation is a general increase in price levels of commodities
shehu
what are the types of inflation?
Ebrima
inflation is the period of persistent rise in the general level of the price of goods services over time
Emmanuel
we have creeping inflation, demand pull inflation ,cost push inflation, and galloping inflation .
Emmanuel
I s Nigeria in any kind of in inflation? If yes which kind?
Martins
please can someone help me with the principles of economic?
Jonathan
and u
ahmed
no discassion just question
Aliraza
what is science and art economic
Sadanu
how can a location of a firm create difference between producers
joy Reply
what is monetary policy
joy
hello
Abdifatah
is a monetary from policy that's authorized of country encharces
Abdifatah
What would you say about the the mobility of enterprise as a factor of production?
Cathryn Reply
how can I connect myself to this Ambrose platform
kanu Reply
Got questions? Join the online conversation and get instant answers!
Jobilize.com Reply

Get the best Algebra and trigonometry course in your pocket!





Source:  OpenStax, Global climate change. OpenStax CNX. Sep 14, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10704/1.4
Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google Inc.

Notification Switch

Would you like to follow the 'Global climate change' conversation and receive update notifications?

Ask