Climate Change: Posing High Risks To US Lives And Economy
With climate change showing up its adverse true colors disrupting global ecological balance, it is high time that we should think seriously about the global climate change and respond to it globally. There is already a warning on global temperatures to cross the internationally agreed limits, i.e., by 5C or more by the century end as per a major report of the US government’s climate scientists.
American lives are already facing “substantial damages” due to climate change affecting their physical life, infrastructure, and ecosystem. Its deadly effect is also visible in the East Coast as flood, in the West as its most deadly wildfire on record, in the Mid-West as soil loss, and in Alaska in the form of coastal erosion.
According to the US Fourth National Climate Assessment, the findings of climate change are as follows:
Communities: Communities across the US are facing intense and extreme weather with changes in average climate conditions. The change in climate is damaging the livelihoods, infrastructures, ecosystems, and social systems of the communities.
Across the United States, vulnerabilities in communities are aggravating and creating more challenges to the health and safety of people, quality of life, and the economic growth rate at large. The indigenous people and coastal communities are also facing the same problem.
Economy: The infrastructure and property of America are expected to get damaged due to rising temperatures, heat waves, sea-level rise, and other extreme events. The Industries and regional economies like agriculture, fisheries, and tourism that depend on the favorable condition of the climate and the natural resources are vulnerable to climate change.
Without any significant global mitigation action and regional adaptation efforts to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions, the U.S. economy will be under threat throughout this century.
Interconnected Impacts: The interconnected systems including production and distribution of food, the supply of water, public health, transportation and energy, national security, and international trade will be at stake due to climate change.
Corrective Actions to Reduce Risks: The mitigation and adaptation efforts are highly required to lower the emission of greenhouse gas and avoid substantial damages to the environment, economy, and human civilization. The prompt actions need to be taken to improve air quality, restore the ecosystem and increase community vitality.
Water: The climate change effect will be directly on the water supplies and availability of water in different areas of United States. The temperature of air and water is rising, and changes in precipitation are causing intense drought, heavy downpour and flood, poor surface water quality and saltwater contamination. Water Management strategies can serve as the only help to reduce the risks to water security.
Health Hazards: The health of more than 100 million US people is at risk. Ground-level ozone pollution and wildfire are increasing health risks. The food-borne and waterborne diseases are growing due to the rising temperature of air and water. There will be more heat-related deaths, severe allergic illnesses, and transmission of diseases by insects and pests like Lyme disease and viruses like Zika, West Nile, and dengue causing diseases.
Ecosystems and Services of Ecosystem: There will be transformative impacts on ecosystems, wildlife, and outdoor recreations. The sea ice ecosystems and some coral reef are facing such transformational changes. It is due to global emissions of greenhouse gases.
Agriculture: The agricultural productivity in the United States is under severe threat due to extreme heat, heavy downpours, drought, soil erosion, and wildfire. The rural livelihood and livestock are also at risk.
Oceans and Coasts: The oceans and coasts are also under threat due to rise in the sea level by around 9 inches, increasing water temperatures, ocean acidification, high-tide flooding, coastal erosion, higher storm surge, and others.
The report also pointed out the extreme urgency of Governments to move fast and take the necessary action to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases to avoid high risks of climate change.