You are on page 1of 28

30th April 2012

Climatic Changes in the World


Adapt or Bust

Submitted to: Dr. Duru Arun Kumar

Submitted By : Rachit Goel 646/MP/10 Atul Gangwar 617/MP/10 Mohd. Saad Khan 630/MP/10

TITLE
1. Abstract 2. Introduction 3. Causes of Climate Change 3.1 Natural Causes 3.2 Human Contribution 4. Effect of Climate Change 4.1 Facts 4.2 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 4.3 Global Climate Change: Recent Impacts and future trends 4.4 How Climate Change Affects India 4.5 Rising diseases due to climate change 4.6 Indias accelerating emissions 5. Adapting to climate change 5.1 Climate change policies 5.1.1 Global Policies 5.1.2 EU policies 5.2 Steps to Reduce Global Warming 5.2.1 In the home 5.2.2 Getting Around 5.2.3 In the office 5.2.4 In the Community 6. Conclusion 7. Appendix 8. Glossary 9. Sources

PAGE NO.
1 2 3 3 5 7 7 8 9 10 11 12 15 16 16 17 18 18 19 19 20 21 22 25 26

ABSTRACT
The purpose of this report is to provide an assessment of observed climate change , the likely causes, the effects and remedies. This report draws attention to the serious human impact of climate change, already visible today. The report presents evidence demonstrating how climate change and emissions released today will alter peoples lives over the next 20 years. This report also provides an overview of adaptation methods and global policies implemented. Seeing all the climatic changes and its impacts, it is very likely, that there will changes in the global climate system in the centuries to come will be larger than those seen in the recent past. It is also very certain that future changes will have the potential to majorly impact the human and natural systems throughout the world.

Climate change is a significant and lasting change in the statistical distribution of weather patterns over periods ranging from decades to millions of years. It may be a change in average weather conditions, or in the distribution of weather around the average conditions (i.e., more or fewer extreme weather events). Climate change is caused by factors that include oceanic processes (such as oceanic circulation), variations in solar radiation received by Earth, plate tectonics and volcanic eruptions, and human-induced alterations of the natural world; these latter effects are currently causing global warming, and "climate change" is often used to describe human-specific impacts. Today, millions of people are already suffering because of climate change. The deathly silence of this crisis is a major impediment for international action to end it. Polls already show that people worldwide are concerned about climate change. Communities on the climate frontlines already see and feel the change. But awareness about the impacts of climate change is low, particularly among the poor. In industrialized countries, climate change is still considered a solely environmental problem. It is seen as a distant threat that might affect our future. A viewpoint reinforced by pictures of glaciers and polar bears not human beings. Climate change is an all encompassing threat, directly affecting the environment, the economy, health and safety. Many communities face multiple stresses with serious social, political and security implications, both domestically and abroad. Millions of people are uprooted or permanently on the move as a result. Many more millions will follow. Until recently, world opinion has been divided: are current Weather trends the result of longterm climate change or Not? And what role, if any, has climate change played in the recent spate of weather-related catastrophes?

CAUSES OF CLIMATE CHANGE


The earth's climate is dynamic and always changing through a natural cycle. What the world is more worried about is that the changes that are occurring today have been speeded up because of man's activities. These changes are being studied by scientists all over the world who are finding evidence from tree rings, pollen samples, ice cores, and sea sediments. The causes of climate change can be divided into two categories - those that are due to natural causes and those that are created by man.

Natural Causes of Climate Change


The earths climate is influenced and changed through natural causes like volcanic eruptions, ocean current, the earths orbital changes and solar variations. Volcanic eruptions - When a volcano erupts it throws out large volumes of sulphur dioxide (SO2), water vapour, dust, and ash into the atmosphere. Large volumes of gases and ash can influence climatic patterns for years by increasing planetary reflectivity causing atmospheric cooling. Tiny particles called aerosols are produced by volcanoes. Because they reflect solar energy back into space they have a cooling effect on the world. The greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide is also produced however the CO2 produced is insignificant when compared to emissions created by humans. (see also featured article - Do Volcanoes cause climate change) Ocean current - The oceans are a major component of the climate system. Ocean currents move vast amounts of heat across the planet. Winds push horizontally against the sea surface and drive ocean current patterns. Interactions between the ocean and atmosphere can also produce phenomena such as El Nio which occur every 2 to 6 years. Deep ocean circulation of cold water from the poles towards the equator and movement of warm water from the equator back towards the poles. Without this movement the poles would be colder and the equator warmer. The oceans play an important role in determining the atmospheric concentration of CO2. Changes in ocean circulation may affect the climate through the movement of CO2 into or out of the atmosphere.

Continental drift You may have noticed something peculiar about South America and Africa on a map of the world - don't they seem to fit into each other like pieces in a jigsaw puzzle? About 200 million years ago they were joined together! Scientists believe that back then, the earth was not as we see it today, but the continents were all part of one large landmass. Proof of this comes from the similarity between plant and animal fossils and broad belts of rocks found on the eastern coastline of South America and western coastline of Africa, which are now widely separated by the Atlantic Ocean. The discovery of fossils of tropical plants (in the form of coal deposits) in Antarctica has led to the conclusion that this frozen land at some time in the past, must have been situated closer to the equator, where the climate was tropical, with swamps and plenty of lush vegetation. The continents that we are familiar with today were formed when the landmass began gradually drifting apart, millions of years back. This drift also had an impact on the climate because it changed the physical features of the landmass, their position and the position of water bodies. The separation of the landmasses changed the flow of ocean currents and winds, which affected the climate. This drift of the continents continues even today; the Himalayan range is rising by about 1 mm (millimeter) every year because the Indian land mass is moving towards the Asian land mass, slowly but steadily. Earth orbital changes - The earth makes one full orbit around the sun each year. It is tilted at an angle of 23.5 to the perpendicular plane of its orbital path. Changes in the tilt of the earth can lead to small but climatically important changes in the strength of the seasons, more tilt means warmer summers and colder winters; less tilt means cooler summers and milder winters. Slow changes in the Earths orbit lead to small but climatically important changes in the strength of the seasons over tens of thousands of years. Climate feedbacks amplify these small changes, thereby producing ice ages. Solar variations - The Sun is the source of energy for the Earths climate system. Although the Suns energy output appears constant from an everyday point of view, small changes over an extended period of time can lead to climate changes. Some scientists suspect that a portion of the warming in the first half of the 20th century was due to an increase in the output of solar energy. As the sun is the fundamental source of energy that is instrumental in our climate system it would be reasonable to assume that changes in the sun's energy output would cause the climate to change. Scientific studies demonstrate that solar variations have performed a role in past climate changes. For instance a decrease in solar activity was thought to have triggered the Little Ice Age between approximately 1650 and 1850, when Greenland was largely cut off by ice from 1410 to the 1720s and glaciers advanced in the Alps.
4

Human Contributions to Climate Change and Global Warming


Human industrial activities are believed to be adding to the amount of "greenhouse gases" naturally present in the atmosphere. There are mounting proofs that following the industrial revolution of the 18th and 19th centuries, which commenced in Britain and has expanded to several parts of the world, the amounts of of carbon dioxide, methane and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere has increased somewhat. this leaves room for the suspicion that humans could have been contributing to Global Warming. Based on scientific results and day-to-day physical evidences, global warming is no longer in dispute. With the the verdict of the fourth assessment report on climate change just released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), there is also very little contention that man contributes to the heating up of the Earth. However, the question that remains is: how much of the warming is caused by man? Human activities that lead to production of GHGs are: Agriculture: During agricultural practices, methane gas (a GHG) is produced when bacteria decomposes organic matter. It has been estimated that close to a quarter of methane gas from human activities result from livestock and the decomposition of animal manure. Paddy rice farming, land use and wetland changes are also agricultural processes that could contribute to the release of methane to the atmosphere. Use of fertilizers for agricultural activities also lead to higherNO2 concentrations. Deforestation: With the growth of industrial activities has been worldwide deforestation. As part of the photosynthetic process, trees abstract carbon dioxide from the air and release oxygen back to the atmosphere. with deforestation, the number of trees available to take in CO2 from the atmosphere has greatly reduced, leading to more available CO2 and increased greenhouse effect. When forests are cleared, most of the carbon in the burned or decomposing trees escape back into the atmosphere Fossil Fuels: Fossil fuels is widely used to power our modern day engines and locomotives. The burning of coals, natural gas and oil yields most of the energy used to produce electricity, heat houses, run automobiles and power factories. The burning of fossil fuels to obtain energy to drive these engines lead to production of tremendous amount of CO2 which is released to our environment and increasers the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere. It is believed that CO2 generated from the burning of fossil fuel accounts for about three-quarters of the total CO2 emissions from human activities.
5

Refrigeration/Fire Suppression/Manufacturing: Establishments and Industries used to use chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) in refrigeration systems, and CFCs and halons in fire suppression systems and manufacturing processes. Other human factors leading to release of GHGs (particularly methane) to the atmosphere include pipeline losses, landfill emissions and septic systems that enhance and target the fermentation process also are major sources of atmospheric methane;

How we all contribute every day


All of us in our daily lives contribute our bit to this change in the climate. Give these points a good, serious thought: - Electricity is the main source of power in urban areas. All our gadgets run on electricity generated mainly from thermal power plants. These thermal power plants are run on fossil fuels (mostly coal) and are responsible for the emission of huge amounts of greenhouse gases and other pollutants. - Cars, buses, and trucks are the principal ways by which goods and people are transported in most of our cities. These are run mainly on petrol or diesel, both fossil fuels. - We generate large quantities of waste in the form of plastics that remain in the environment for many years and cause damage. - We use a huge quantity of paper in our work at schools and in offices. Have we ever thought about the number of trees that we use in a day? - Timber is used in large quantities for construction of houses, which means that large areas of forest have to be cut down. - A growing population has meant more and more mouths to feed. Because the land area available for agriculture is limited (and in fact, is actually shrinking as a result of ecological degradation!), high-yielding varieties of crop are being grown to increase the agricultural output from a given area of land

EFFECT OF CLIMATE CHANGE


There has been a fourfold increase in natural disasters in just the last two decades. An increase it ascribes to unpredictable violent weather spawned by global warming.

FACTS
Natural disasters have quadrupled over the last two decades, from an average of 120 a year in the early 1980s to as many as 500 today which is in line with climate models developed by the international scientific community. The number of people affected by all disasters has risen from an average of 174 million a year between 1985 and 1994 to 254 million a year between 1995 and 2004. Earlier in 2007 the Asian floods alone affected 248 million people. In the same year in Bangladesh, Cyclone Sidr struck with Category 4 strength, killing at least 3,400 and affecting millions. Floods and wind storms have increased sixfold since 1980, from 60 in 1980 to 240 in 2006. IN 2007 floods in South Asia, across the breadth of Africa and in Mexico affected more than 250 million people. The frequency of small and medium-sized natural disasters appears to be increasing, and taking an increasing toll. Whereas 6,000 died from disasters in the 1980s, the figure reached 14,000 in 2005. Every year climate change leaves over 300,000 people dead, 325 million people seriously affected, and economic losses of US$125 billion. Four billion people are vulnerable, and 500 million people are at extreme risk. These figures represent averages based on projected trends over many years and carry a significant margin of error. The real numbers could be lower or higher. Glaciers have shrunk, ice on rivers and lakes is breaking up earlier, plant and animal ranges have shifted and trees are flowering sooner. The potential future effects of global climate change include more frequent wildfires, longer periods of drought in some regions and an increase in the number, duration and intensity of tropical storms

Effects that scientists had predicted in the past would result from global climate change are now occurring: loss of sea ice, accelerated sea level rise and longer, more intense heat waves. Scientists have high confidence that global temperatures will continue to rise for decades to come, largely due to greenhouse gasses produced by human activities. A pattern of more frequent, more erratic, more unpredictable and more extreme weather events is being followed that is affecting more people. Action is needed now to prepare for more disasters, otherwise humanitarian assistance will be overwhelmed and recent advances in human development will go into reverse.

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)


The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the leading international body for the assessment of climate change. It was established by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) to provide the world with a clear scientific view on the current state of knowledge in climate change and its potential environmental and socio-economic impacts. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which includes more than 1,300 scientists from the United States and other countries, forecasts a temperature rise of 2.5 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit over the next century. The IPCC predicts that increases in global mean temperature of less than 1.8 to 5.4 degrees Fahrenheit (1 to 3 degrees Celsius) above 1990 levels will produce beneficial impacts in some regions and harmful ones in others. Net annual costs will increase over time as global temperatures increase. "Taken as a whole," the IPCC states, "the range of published evidence indicates that the net damage costs of climate change are likely to be significant and to increase over time." Below are some of the regional impacts of global change forecast by the IPCC: North America: Decreasing snowpack in the western mountains; 5-20 percent increase in yields of rain-fed agriculture in some regions; increased frequency, intensity and duration of heat waves in cities that currently experience them. Latin America: Gradual replacement of tropical forest by savannah in eastern Amazonia; risk of significant biodiversity loss through species extinction in many tropical areas; significant changes in water availability for human consumption, agriculture and energy generation.
8

Europe: Increased risk of inland flash floods; more frequent coastal flooding and increased erosion from storms and sea level rise; glacial retreat in mountainous areas; reduced snow cover and winter tourism; extensive species losses; reductions of crop productivity in southern Europe. Africa: By 2020, between 75 and 250 million people are projected to be exposed to increased water stress; yields from rain-fed agriculture could be reduced by up to 50 percent in some regions by 2020; agricultural production, including access to food, may be severely compromised. Asia: Freshwater availability projected to decrease in Central, South, East and Southeast Asia by the 2050s; coastal areas will be at risk due to increased flooding; death rate from disease associated with floods and droughts expected to rise in some regions.

Global Climate Change: Recent Impacts


Phenomena Cold days, cold nights and frost less frequent over land areas More frequent hot days and nights Heat waves more frequent over most land areas Increased incidence of extreme high sea level* Global area affected by drought has increased (since 1970s) Likelihood that trend occurred in late 20th century Very likely

Very likely Likely Likely Likely in some regions

Increase in intense tropical cyclone activity in North Likely in some regions Atlantic (since 1970)

Global Climate Change: Future Trends


Phenomena Contraction of snow cover areas, increased thaw in permafrost regions, decrease in sea ice extent Increased frequency of hot extremes, heat waves and heavy precipitation Increase in tropical cyclone intensity Precipitation increases in high latitudes Precipitation decreases in subtropical land regions Decreased water resources in many semi-arid areas, including western U.S. and Mediterranean basin Likelihood of trend Virtually certain

Very likely to occur

Likely to occur Very likely to occur Very likely to occur High confidence

Definitions of likelihood ranges used to express the assessed probability of occurrence: virtually certain >99%, very likely >90%, likely >66%.

How Climate Change affects India


Precisely at a time when India is confronted with development imperatives, we will also be severely impacted by climate change. With close economic ties to natural resources and climate-sensitive sectors such as agriculture, water and forestry, India may face a major threat, and require serious adaptive capacity to combat climate change. As a developing country, India can little afford the risks and economic backlashes that industrialized nations can. With 27.5% of the population still below the poverty line, reducing vulnerability to the impacts of climate change is essential. It is in Indias interest to ensure that the world moves towards a low carbon future. Many studies have underscored the nations vulnerability to climate change. With changes in key climate variables, namely temperature, precipitation and humidity, crucial sectors like agriculture and rural development are likely to be affected in a major way.

10

Impacts are already being seen in unprecedented heat waves, cyclones, floods, salinisation of the coastline and effects on agriculture, fisheries and health. India is home to a third of the worlds poor, and climate change will hit this section of society the hardest. Set to be the most populous nation in the world by 2045, the economic, social and ecological price of climate change will be massive. The future impacts of climate change, identified by the Government of Indias National Communications (NATCOM) in 2004 include: Decreased snow cover, affecting snow-fed and glacial systems such as the Ganges and Brahmaputra. 70% of the summer flow of the Ganges comes from melt water. Erratic monsoon with serious effects on rain-fed agriculture, peninsular rivers, water and power supply Drop in wheat production by 4-5 million tonnes, with even a 1C rise in temperature. Rising sea levels causing displacement along one of the most densely populated coastlines in the world, threatened freshwater sources and mangrove ecosystems. Increased frequency and intensity of floods. Increased vulnerability of people in coastal, arid and semi-arid zones of the country. Studies indicate that over 50% of Indias forests are likely to experience shift in forest types, adversely impacting associated biodiversity, regional climate dynamics as well as livelihoods based on forest products. With global temperatures projected to rise up to 4 degrees Celsius by 2100. Tropical cyclones will likely become more frequent and more intense, rainfall will increase and sea level may rise by up to nearly a metre as tropical sea surface temperatures increase.

Rising diseases due to climate change


Natural disasters such as drought and flooding occurring at an alarming rate due to Climate change will inevitably affect health, particularly in the developing world, leading to more deaths from heat stress, diarrhoeal diseases and malnutrition. The incidence of mosquito-borne diseases, in particular, is likely to change.

11

In some tropical regions both cyclones and floods create breeding grounds for the mosquitoes that carry malaria and dengue. Poor populations in coastal areas are particularly vulnerable to sea level rise and the associated threat of mosquito-borne disease. In South and South-East Asia, the last decade has brought many disasters, including devastating floods in the Indian states of Gujarat and Mumbai, super cyclones in India, Bangladesh and Myanmar and tsunamis affecting India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Thailand. How natural disasters affect mosquito-borne disease varies from region to region, depending on both the environment and how people live. With the exception of the super cyclones, all these events exacerbated mosquitoborne diseases, particularly malaria. In India, the floods disrupted health service delivery and led to profuse breeding of mosquitoes, resulting in malaria outbreaks. Drought has also been found responsible for malaria outbreaks in Sri Lanka. The December 2004 tsunami in the region similarly created wide breeding grounds for mosquitoes, disrupted health services and left over 1.6 million people without shelter. The result was a many-fold rise in malaria in the Andaman Islands from January to April 2005. And Chikungunya, a disease that had all but been forgotten in India, has reappeared in southern parts of the country and by May 2007 had spread to almost all districts in Kerala. Though the igniting factors could not be pinpointed, the underlying reason is the climate changes that helped Aedes mosquitoes breed and survive.

Indias accelerating emissions


Although not an emitter historically, India currently has one of the fastest growing economies in the world. With a government target of 8% GDP to achieve developmental priorities, a share of one sixth of the global population, and changing consumption patterns, Indias emissions are set to increase dramatically. Growing at an almost breakneck pace, and guzzling coal, gas and oil in large quantities, India is today the fourth largest emitter of greenhouse gases worldwide. Although our per-capita emissions are among the lowest in the world, our growth rates imply that the past is no predictor of the future.

12

The most recent IPCC report suggests that India will experience the greatest increase in energy and greenhouse gas emissions in the world if it sustains a high annual economic growth rate. The International energy Agency predicts that India will become the third largest emitter of greenhouse gases by as early as 2015. India imports large quantities of fossil fuels to meet its energy needs, and the burning of fossil fuels alone accounts for 83% of Indias carbon dioxide emissions. Nearly 70% of our electricity supply comes from coal. Although India has maintained its clear economic and social development imperatives, the government recognizes that climate change is an serious problem, and that business as usual is no longer the way forward.

India on climate change


India has committed to actively engage in multilateral negotiations in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), in a positive and forward-looking manner. The government recognizes that global warming will affect us seriously but maintains that the most important adaptation measure to climate change is development itself. This has ensured that Indias position at the UNFCC has stubbornly remained common but differentiated responsibility. Under the UNFCCC agreement itself, India is not subject to any binding emission reduction targets until the year 2012.

In spite of this guarded stand, India has declared that even as it pursues its social and development objectives, it will not allow its per capita emissions to exceed those of developed countries. The 11th 5-year plan does make headway in reducing energy intensity per unit of GHG by 20 percent while boosting cleaner and renewable energy.

In June 2008, the Prime minister released the much awaited National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC). The NAPCC outlines a strategy by which India will adapt to climate change, while maintaining a high growth rate, protecting poor and vulnerable sections of society and achieving national growth objectives. It focuses on eight areas intended to deliver maximal benefits to development and climate change (mitigation and adaptation). However, detailed action plans for each mission, and any clear
13

targets are missing from the report8. Although the action plan may be a missed opportunity for leadership on climate change, the good news is that change is coming. Realising that the market is changing, and not to be left behind in the global race, Indian businesses are beginning to take on climate change as a business issue. What we need now is for the government of India to capitalize on Indias position as a developing giant, take the lead and engage with governments of the world and the private sector for a low-carbon future.

14

ADAPTING TO CLIMATE CHANGE


Background
The impacts of climate change are already being experienced across the globe. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)2 concludes that human activity (primarily related to fossil fuel consumption) is largely responsible. While climate change will affect everyone, it is expected to have a disproportionate effect on those living in poverty in developing countries. The IPCC Third Assessment Report, which assesses climate change research up to 2001, concludes that: global average surface temperature has increased by 0.6C (0.2C) over the 20th century, and is predicted to increase by 1.4 to 5.8C between 1990 and 2100; average precipitation has increased over tropical latitudes by about 2 to 3% throughout the 20thcentury, and on average has decreased by about 3% in the sub-tropics. These changes are leading to environmental impacts summarised in Table 1, such as a global average sea level rise of 10 to 20cm over the last 100 years (expected to rise a further 10 to 90cm by 2100), and an increase in frequency and intensity of drought in parts of Asia and Africa in recent decades. Many of these changes have already led to multiple socioeconomic impacts. Vulnerability of developing countries to climate change The majority of developing countries are in tropical and sub-tropical regions, areas predicted to be seriously affected by the impacts of climate change: Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Small Island States (for example Mauritius) have all been identified as regions of concern.This is compounded by the fact that developing countries are often less able to cope with adverse climate impacts: Poverty exacerbates, and is exacerbated by, the impacts of environmental change: Between 1990 and 1998, 97% of all natural disaster-related deaths occurred in developing countries. 90% of all natural disasters are climate, weather and water related. Livelihoods are highly dependent on climate-sensitive resources: agriculture in SubSaharan Africa, of whichup to 90% is rain-fed, accounts for 70% of regionalemployment and 35% of gross national product.

15

Low adaptive capacity: the poorest inhabitants of developing countries, especially those in the Least Developed Countries (LDCs), already struggle to cope with current extreme weather events and climate variability. In 2004 severe flooding in Bangladesh,caused by excessive rains of the annual Asian Summer Monsoon, killed over 600 people and displaced over20 million. The greater frequency and severity ofclimate shocks is repeatedly eroding coping capacity.

Climate change policies


Global policies
According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), to keep global warming below 2 C, emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases (GHGs) must be halved by 2050 (compared with 1990 levels). Developed countries will need to reduce more between 80 % and 95 % by 2050; advanced developing countries with large emissions (e.g. China, India and Brazil) will have to limit their emission growth. Agreed in 1997, the UNFCCC's Kyoto Protocol is a first step towards achieving more substantial global emission reductions. It sets binding emission targets for developed countries that have ratified it, such as the EU Member States, and limits the emission increases of the remaining countries for the first commitment period from 2008 to 2012. The 15 pre-2004 EU Member States (the EU-15) have a joint emission reduction target of 8 % below 1990 levels. Through the internal EU "burden-sharing agreement", some EU Member States are permitted increases in emissions, while others must decrease them. Most Member States that joined the EU after 1 May 2004 have targets of -6 % to -8 % from their base years (mostly 1990). EU emissions represent about 10 % of total global emissions. The United States, which has a large share of total global GHG emissions, has not ratified the protocol. China and several other countries with large GHG emissions do not have binding emission targets under the protocol. Countries are expected to meet their target mainly through domestic policies and measures. They may meet part of their emission reduction targets by investing in emissionreducing projects in developing countries (the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM)) or in developed ones (Joint Implementation (JI)). The CDM is also meant to support sustainable development, e.g. by financing renewable energy projects.

16

The Cancn Agreements, adopted at the UN Climate Conference in Mexico (December 2010), include a comprehensive finance, technology and capacity-building support package to help developing nations adapt to climate change and adopt sustainable paths to low-emission economies. The agreements also include a time schedule for reviewing the objective of keeping the average global temperature rise below 2 C. The agreements confirm that developed countries will mobilise USD 100 billion in climate funding for developing countries annually by 2020, and establish a Green Climate Fund through which much of the funding will be channelled. The 'Durban Platform for Enhanced Action', adopted at the UN conference in South Africa (Dec 2011) agreed a roadmap towards a new legal framework by 2015, applicable to all Parties to the UN climate convention. It also foresees a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol, starting in 2013. Agreement was also reached on the design and governance arrangements for the new Green Climate Fund.

EU policies
Climate change mitigation (GHG reduction) Many European countries have adopted national programmes aimed at reducing emissions. Similar EU-level policies and measures include: increased use of renewable energy (wind, solar, biomass) and combined heat and power installations; improved energy efficiency in buildings, industry, household appliances; reduction of CO2 emissions from new passenger cars; abatement measures in the manufacturing industry; measures to reduce emissions from landfills. The EU climate and energy package was adopted in 2009 to implement the 20-20-20 targets endorsed by EU leaders in 2007 by 2020 there should be a 20 % reduction of GHG emissions compared with 1990, a 20 % share of renewables in EU energy consumption, and energy improvement by 20 %. The core of the package comprises four pieces of complementary legislation. 1. Revision and strengthening of the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS): a single EU-wide cap on emission allowances from 2013 onwards, with a linear annual reduction until

17

2020 and beyond; the progressive replacement of free allocation of allowances by auctioning; and an expansion of the system to new sectors and gases. 2. An "Effort Sharing Decision" for emissions from sectors not covered by the EU ETS, e.g. transport, housing, agriculture and waste. Each Member State will have to achieve a binding national emissions limitation target for 2020. Overall, these national targets will cut the EUs emissions from the non-ETS sectors by 10 % by 2020 compared with 2005 levels. 3. Binding national targets for renewable energy: this will help reduce EUs dependence on imported energy as well as bring down GHG emissions. 4. A legal framework to promote the development and safe use of carbon capture and storage (CCS). The package creates pressure to improve energy efficiency but does not address it directly; the EUs energy efficiency action plan does.

STABILISE OUR CLIMATE : STOP GLOBAL WARMING


Steps to Reduce Global Warming
Though a variety of local, state, national and international measures are in place to reduce global warming, there are also steps that individuals can take. Many involve reducing an individual's personal carbon dioxide emissions ? a major contributor to global warming. The everyday choices we make in the home, office, school, or community can have an impact on global climate change.

In the Home
Major changes one can make in the home to reduce global warming involve heating and cooling. Turning the thermostat lower in the winter and higher in the summer can cause a carbon dioxide reduction of approximately 500 pounds for each twodegree adjustment. Placing the water heater temperature to the recommended 120 degrees can save 500 pounds of carbon dioxide annually. In addition, washing two loads of laundry each week in cold rather than in hot water can also save up to 500 pounds of carbon dioxide each year.

18

When purchasing new appliances look for models that have the Energy Star label ? awarded by the Environmental Protection Agency. While these models may initially cost more than non-Energy Star models, the energy savings will repay the investment within a few short years. It is estimated that if every U.S. household used only the most energy efficient appliances available, it could save nearly $15 billion in energy costs and reduce heat-trapping gas emissions by 175 million tons. Some of the simplest actions in the home include turning off all lights and appliances when they are not in use and recycling. Changing to energy-efficient compact fluorescent bulbs can reduce annual carbon dioxide emissions by nearly 500 pounds for each bulb replaced. When shopping, purchasing minimally-packaged goods easily reduces waste. Cutting down on household garbage by 25% can reduce carbon dioxide emissions by up to 1,000 pounds a year.

Getting Around
Whenever possible, individuals should try to walk, bike, carpool, or use public transportation to get from place to place. For every gallon of gas that is saved, carbon dioxide emissions are reduced by 20 pounds. When purchasing a car, one should do research to find a car that can meet one's needs while providing good gas mileage. If a new car purchase can get 10 miles per gallon more than the old one, it could save around 2,500 pounds of carbon dioxide a year. For car owners, keeping up with the maintenance of the vehicle ? getting the engine tunedup and tires properly inflated will help increase overall fuel efficiency. If all Americans kept their tires properly inflated, gasoline use nationwide could be reduced by nearly two percent. Cleaning or replacing a car's air filter can save an additional 5% of the energy needed and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 175 pounds per year.

In the Office
If the office does not already have measures in place, any individual can help institute several energy and waste saving steps. start an office carpool with co-workers that live in the same community. Make sure to turn off all lights and appliances that do not need to be on at the end of the day. Suggesting the use of ceramic cups in place of disposable ones can also reduce waste. With respect to paper waste, using both sides of a sheet for printing, copying, writing and drawing can eliminate a lot of paper waste. For every pound of office paper that
19

is recycled, it can reduce carbon dioxide emissions by four pounds. Try instituting an office recycling program; use waste paper for printing drafts or meeting agendas or reuse them in plain paper fax machines since faxes only print on one side.

In the Community
Join or start a community group in the neighborhood and dedicate a day to planting trees throughout the community. Trees store carbon and provide shade during the summer, which can cool houses and result in lower energy use. Encourage the use of bikes with bike rack placement at public buildings and businesses to promote biking over driving. If driving, try to start a neighborhood carpool with people that work in similar areas. Be sure to stay informed about environmental issues in the community. This may include keeping track of local candidates' voting records, and calling or writing to express any ideas or concerns. Finally ask that governors, state legislators, and public utility regulators promote energy efficiency and the development of clean, renewable sources of energy.

20

CONCLUSION
This report details the silent crisis occurring around the World today as a result of global climate change. It is a comprehensive account of the impacts of climate change on human society. Long regarded as a distant environmental or future problem, climate change is already a major constraint on human efforts. It has been creeping up on the world for years, doing its deadly work by aggravating a host of other major problems affecting society, such as malaria and poverty. This report aims at breaking the silent suffering of millions. Its findings indicate that climate change is responsible each year for hundreds of thousands of deaths. An opportunity for change Climate change needs to be seen as an opportunity. The scale of the problem at hand, and the urgency with which we must tackle it, is precisely the opportunity to galvanize calls for reform and innovation. We need to question the capacity of the entire system with which we plan to respond to climate change, and the slow and abrupt disasters it causes. Preparing for greater climate impacts It can be said that climate change is the antithesis of sustainable development. Sustainable development aims at increasing economic prosperity, safeguarding the environment and improving social equity. As it stands, climate change will impact heavily on the economy and is causing millions of people to enter poverty once more. It will cause massive degradation to the environment and human habitat worldwide, including glacial and ice-cap melting, desertification, coastal flooding and soil salination, in addition to much, much more. Redefining sustainable development Since climate change will only intensify, it is imperative that the concept of sustainable Development as we know it today is redefined. Resilience in the face of climate change must be added as an additional pillar to the concept of sustainable development. Development must not only be sustainable, but also climate-proof. That redefinition will not come for free. Substantial resources must be spent on adaptation to climate change.

21

APPENDIX
The figure below provides an overview in the trends in different types of weather-related disasters between 1980 and 2005. Relative number of loss events from floods, windstorms and earthquakes, 1980-2005

Source: Flood insurance from clients to global financial markets, W. Kron,Geo Risks Research, Munich Reinsurance Company, 2009.v

Key indicators Numbers of loss-generating events floods, windstorms, earthquakes. Trend in loss-generating events floods, windstorms, earthquakes. Share of weather-related disasters attributable to climate change.

22

Assumptions and calculations Calculations are performed on a data set with the recorded frequency of loss-generating events (natural disasters such as floods, windstorms, earthquakes). The analysis is performed on data provided by Munich Re in 2009. Replicating the analysis using the CRED database yields similar results. The time series is over the 25 years between 1980 and 2005 which is a period frequently chosen in analyses because there is robust data for this period and it is the period when it is assumed that climate change has started to have an impact. The IPCC suggests a very high likelihood of climate change since 1990 while individual studies have indicated points between 1960 and 1990. The analysis is not highly sensitive to changing the starting point by a few years. The number of disasters provides a good basis because there is a clear link between frequency of weather-related disasters and climate change, and data reliability is good. The share of weather-related disasters attributable to climate change in 2005 is calculated by comparing the number of weather-related disasters (floods and windstorms) with what the number would be if growth rate had been similar to earthquakes. The gap between the trend value for weather-related disasters and the trend value for earthquakes is attributed to climate change. For example, with 97 floods in 1980 and 307 percent growth over the period yields 298 floods in 2005. However, if the number of floods had only increased at the rate of earthquakes, namely 152 percent, the predicted number of floods would only have been 148 floods in 2005. The difference, 150 floods, is attributed to climate change, a 50 percent attribution (i.e. 150/298).

23

The full calculation is contained in the table below:

The resulting estimate is a 40 percent attribution of weather-related disasters to climate change in 2005.

24

GLOSSARY
Adaptation: In this report, adaptation refers to individual or governmental actions to reduce adverse effects or future risks associated with climate change. The IPCC defines adaptation as the adjustment in natural or human systems in response to actual or expected climatic stimuli or their effects, which moderates harm or exploits beneficial opportunities. Climate change: is dened by the IPCC as a change in the state of the climate that can be identied by changes in the mean (and/or the variability), and that persists for an extended period, typically decades or longer. Deforestation: is the removal of a forest or stand of trees where the land is thereafter converted to a nonforest use. Fossil Fuels:A hydrocarbon deposit, such as petroleum, coal, or natural gas, derived from living matter of a previous geologic time and used for fuel. Global warming : is an average increase in the temperature of the atmosphere near the Earths surface and in the troposphere, which can contribute to changes in global climate patterns. Mitigation: Actions taken to lower greenhouse gas emissions targeted at reducing the extent of global warming. This is distinct from adaptation which involves taking action to minimize the effects of global warming. ABBREVIATIONS CCS -Carbon capture and storage CDM -Clean Development Mechanism CFCs - Chlorofluorocarbons ETS - Emissions Trading System EU- Europe Union GHGs -Greenhouse gases LDCs -Least Developed Countries UNEP- United Nations Environment Programme UNFCCC -United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change NAPCC -National Action Plan on Climate Change NATCOM- National Communications WMO- World Meteorological Organization
25

SOURCES
http://www.climatechangechallenge.org/Resource%20Centre/Climate-Change/3what_causes_climate_change.htm#3. http://edugreen.teri.res.in/explore/climate/causes.htm http://www.environbusiness.com/CChange/cchuman.html http://www.lloyds.com/~/media/3be75eab0df24a5184d0814c32161c2d.ashx http://www.scidev.net/en/opinions/climate-change-brings-natural-disasters-anddiseas.html http://www.indiaclimateportal.org/how-climate-change-affects-india http://climate.nasa.gov/effects/ http://www.thedailygreen.com/environmental-news/latest/natural-disasters-globalwarming-47112606 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Effects_of_global_warming#Observed_impacts http://www.ipcc.ch/organization/organization.shtml#.T51-TLO1DM0

26