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BCN 1582 Individual Paper Template

Name: Logan Zuckerman

UF Student ID: 8170-8909
Topic Country: Brazil
Subject (climate change or water):
Climate Change

Please select a country from your assigned continent and select to report on either water or climate
change issues within that country.

Senior-level students and above: select a country in Europe.

Juniors: select a country in South and Central America.
Sophomores: select a country in Africa.
All others: select a country other than in a region above and other than China and the U.S.

The paper should include challenges that the country faces or initiatives that the country has started.
Provide data to support the discussion and explain the implications of the data for sustainability.
Clearly define and explain the environmental, social, and economic aspects of the issues.
The paper length is two pages using this template; do not change the font style, font size, or line
spacing; leave this first page intact. Add a works cited page for a total of four pages. Please provide
citations for your data in any consistent and complete format such as: end notes or inline. Please write
in the e-Learning submission window which citation format you used. Papers must be submitted
through the e-Learning/Sakai course web site. Emailed papers will not be accepted. A Turnitin report
is generated for you to review before final submission.
Grading criteria include but are not limited to:
1. Structure and formatting
a) Spelling and grammar, sentence structure, and general writing.
b) Whether the template and format were followed.
c) Appropriate use of citations and formatting.
2. Content
a) Are there at least three data points from legitimate sources.
b) Are the data points appropriate and meaningful for the purposes of this paper.
c) Does the discussion of the data provide a thoughtful analysis in the context of material
presented in class and having to do with concepts of sustainability.
d) Content copied from sources will be penalized. Please review the Turnitin report before
final submission of your paper.

Climate change is happening all over the globe, and that is no secret. Everywhere, countries
around the world are feeling the effects of more extreme weather patterns, and some countries
are affected more than others. Unfortunately for Brazil, a country whose economy is heavily
based on its natural resources and landscape, the effects of climate change are becoming more
and more evident by the day, and not for the better. The study of The Economics of Climate
Change in Brazil (EMCB) has been attempting to quantify the impact that climate change has
been having on the countrys development, environmentally, economically, and socially
(Domingues, 2010).
First, I will explore the environmental issues that climate change is causing in Brazil. Brazil
has stated in international negotiations that they believe the accumulation of greenhouse gasses
in the atmosphere is the primary cause of the increasing temperatures the country has been
seeing over the last few decades. Unfortunately in a country like Brazil which has the worlds
largest tropical rainforest system, the entrapment of these greenhouse gasses is a vicious cycle.
The gases cause the temperatures to go up, which subsequently cause dryer seasons in the
rainforest. These dry seasons cause fires, and those fires then emit more greenhouse gases into
the atmosphere, according to studies (Rovere, 2007). Due to the drying, and therefore
deforestation of the Amazon rainforest, Brazil has become the fourth-largest producer of
greenhouse gasses in the world (Rohter, 2007).
Many believe that rising temperatures are the key contributor to the dramatic increase in
rainfall and floods Brazil has seen in the past few years. In 2011, Brazil saw one of the worst
flood years any country had seen in history. In a 2 day period in January 2011 alone, at least 511
lives were taken due to heavy rainfall, which subsequently lead to major flooding in the
southeast area of Brazil. These floods contributed to being Brazils single worst natural disaster
in its long history. But, Brazil is not alone to blame for these floods. While they do contribute to
their increased temperatures by the vast amounts of greenhouse gases they emit, the increased
temperatures in January 2011 came from a flow off of the Atlantic Ocean. The temperatures
reached a record high, and were 1.9 degrees Fahrenheit above average in the region (Romm,
2011). The fact that these high moisture flows came from the Atlantic ocean are evidence that
Brazil (like many other countries) have fallen victim to increased temperatures around the
world, meaning that they are not solely to blame. Increased temperatures and climate change
truly is a global issue, and Brazil has definitely seen the worst of it. Brazils ecosystems provide
the natural infrastructure it needs in order to help control the heavy erosion caused by flooding.
But, due to deforestation and the destruction of this natural infrastructure, many of the homes in
the area of these floods were washed away with ease. The people of Brazil are now putting
pressure on their local politicians to create better planning for their cities so such a drastic
tragedy doesnt happen again (Global Justice Ecology Project, 2011). When Brazils ecosystem
was healthy and growing, this was not a problem they faced. Clearly, a country that depends so
heavily on its natural ecosystem to help regulate the surrounding environment around it faces
tremendous problems when the infrastructures of those ecosystems begin to crumble.
Being one of the ten largest economies in the world, drastic effects to Brazils economy
would shake up the world market as we currently know it today (Pereira, 2007). Economically,
climate change has had a drastic effect on Brazil, and mostly in the agricultural sector. Brazil
has a $250 billion farm industry, and due to climate change, that industry is at risk. Brazil is the
worlds leader in exports for major crops such as soybeans and coffee, and without being able to
produce those products on an annual basis, Brazils economy will crumble. Increase
temperatures will have devastating effects of the agricultural business in Brazil, and for many
people in Brazil, agriculture is their only source of income. Staple foods in Brazil such as
cassava, maize, and sunflower are highly sensitive to high temperatures. For some, this would
mean no food, and for others, this would mean no income. According to Brazils Environment

Minister Carlos Minc, The northeast will lose one-third of its economy if we do nothing.
(Colitt, 2009). This would clearly have drastic effects on the entire country which relies so
heavily on its agriculture in order to keep up with other emerging markets in todays globalized
Although there is controversy due to the actual economic value ecosystem services provide
to a particular country, it clearly counts a substantial amount. Although it is hard to estimate, it
is not secret that the ecosystem services of Brazil are one of the most beneficial and
economically helpful in the world, due to the Amazon River and the vast amounts of rain forests
around it. Some studies have said that these values could be in the range of trillions of dollars
per year, and that is for Brazil alone. With climate changes bringing deforestation, the extinction
of animal species, and the shrinkage of agricultural land, the economic benefits that Brazil once
enjoyed from ecosystem services are slowly fading away, and theres no stimulus plan or
monetary compensation the government can apply to stop it from happening.
Climate change is starting to bring a lot of reform to the country of Brazil. This is happening
both in the government sector and amongst the average people. The citizens of Brazil are
realizing that they more than anybody need to sustain their ecosystem in order to continue
thriving as a country, and this is having drastic social impacts throughout the country. Even
some of the most traditional, old school people of Brazil are beginning to make reform in
regards to climate change. Without direction from the federal government, governors of
Amazon states are acting on their own. The governor of Amazonas announced the first climate
change law in Brazil, which included payments to farmers and river dwellers for sustainable
actions, in order to try to keep their ecosystem services as high as possible. As we saw in An
Inconvenient Truth in class, Al Gore stated how the Amazon is not untouchable, and the people
of that region are beginning to notice that and act upon it (Rohter, 2007).
Although, not at all actions to combat climate change are being received with positive
regard in Brazil. Due to difficulties in the agricultural sector, and difficulty to keep up with food
demands in such drastic climates, many farmers are beginning to turn to genetically modified
seeds in order to ensure a more stable growing season, and make enough money to sustain
themselves. While some farmers have no choice but to use genetically modified seeds to keep
growing, others feel strongly different. Last year, 5 million Brazilian farmers sued the U.S.
company Monsanto, claiming the company has been unfairly collecting royalties on their crops.
The Brazilian court ruled that the Brazilian farmers were in the right, and Monsanto owed them
at least $2 billion (Whitaker, 2012). While this may not seem like it relates to climate change, it
completely does. Climate change has caused some Brazilian farmers to resort to Monsantos
genetically modified seeds, and due to that, some of the seeds have traveled to other farms.
Monsanto is claiming the royalties to these farms, in which the farmers have no knowledge of
using Monsantos product. This is just one of many example of the Brazilian people revolting
against both the corruption and health hazards that genetically engineered seeds bring to the
In conclusion, climate change is bringing drastic changes to the country of Brazil, and is
doing so rapidly. After many years of denial, the Brazilian people are not only realizing this, but
also realizing that they are most likely the main contributors to these climate issues. Climate
change has drastic effects on many sectors of Brazil as an entire country, and is highly
endangering their large, powerful, and beautiful ecosystem which they have relied on for as
long as mankind has lived there. Fortunately, they are moving in the right direction when it
comes to reform and policies to counteract the way theyre affecting the climate, but
unfortunately it may be too late. Brazil is just one of numerous countries in the world that is
severely being affected by climate change, but being such a big and emerging country on the
world scale, these climate changes can definitely have global ramifications.

1) Colitt, Raymond. "Climate Change Threatens Brazil's Rich Agriculture." Reuters. N.p.,
1 Oct. 2009. Web.
2) Domingues, Edson. "The Impacts of Climate Change in the Brazilian Economy." Social
Science Research Network. University of Illinois, 2010. Web
3) Ecology Project, Global Justice. "Flooding in Brazil Worsened by Deforestation."
Climate Connections. N.p., 17 Jan. 2011. Web.
4) Pereira, Andres Santos. "Brazil & Climate Change: A Country Profile." Sci Dev Net.
N.p., 2 Feb. 2007. Web.
5) Rohter, Larry. "Brazil, Alarmed, Reconsiders Policy on Climate Change." The New York
Times. N.p., 31 July 2007. Web.
6) Whitaker, Paulo. "Seeds of Doubt: Brazilian Farmers Sue Monsanto." RT America. N.p.,
4 June 2012. Web.