Global Warming and Climate Change
The term global warming is used by scientists to refer to a long-term increase in the average air temperature on Earth. Most often, this phrase means warming, which occurs due to increased atmospheric carbon dioxide – or other factors linked with human activity. These changes are very significant. For example, during the last ice age 15,000 years ago, our planet was only 5 °C colder than it was in 2019 (Osborn, 2021). This was enough to cover almost a third of the planet with ice. Today the process is reversed. As a result, global warming just causes a rise in the Planet’s surface temperature and is one of the symptoms of the much larger problem of anthropogenic climate change.
For a correct understanding of the term climate change, it is first necessary to determine what is the difference between the concepts of climate and weather. Weather, sometimes called climate, is the sum of atmospheric conditions in a certain area and over a particular period. The typical state of the atmosphere in a given location during a considerable period, such as 40 years, is referred to as climate. Hence, climate change can be viewed as a long-standing shift in the average state of the atmosphere.
Human actions do have a role in climate change, but they are only one component of the equation. The temperature of the Earth can vary over time owing to connections between the atmospheric and numerous geologic, biochemical, and spatial elements, as well as shifts in the atmosphere. As a result, climate change is a term that encompasses both global warming and a broader spectrum of things that affect our world. Sea levels will rise, glaciers will decrease, and plant blossom periods will change.
Change for 2°C
Natural processes grow increasingly imbalanced when more heat is contributed to the average temperature of the earth. Natural systems that are out of balance cause greater harm and misery. A 2-degree increase in global temperature is enough to tip a plethora of the biological ecosystems that sustain humanity into perilous territory. Climate-related hazards to public health, livelihood, food production, social protection, water availability, and wealth creation will increase as the world warms by 2 degrees Celsius (Mastroianni, 2015). The most vulnerable and marginalized peoples, indigenous groups of people, and those whose existence relies on agricultural or marine resources will be the most susceptible.
Around 1.5 million square kilometers of territory are at risk, and up to 187 million of people tend to be at risk of losing their accommodation. Archipelagic nations in the Pacific will be flooded and made unsustainable. Biodiversity will be devastated worldwide, making flood prevention, water purification, and soil fertility extremely challenging. The number of heated weeks will increase exponentially when the temperature rises by 2 degrees (Mastroianni, 2015). There will be considerably less rain in certain regions of the earth and much more rain in others. It is important to note that if the Earth heats by 2 degrees, 99 percent of coral reefs would vanish, losing thousands of creatures.
The Paris Agreement prompted world powers to take significant steps to limit global warming. The countries that ratified the agreement pledged to prevent global temperatures from rising 2°C above pre-industrial levels this century (Mastroianni, 2015). In 20 centuries of human history, our ancestors have never had to deal with the phenomena associated with climate change and global warming, which would be so widespread and frankly disturbing.
In the last decade, many predictions have been published about the devastating effects of global warming. Warming’s influence on agricultural output is unclear. Harvests may rise with a minor warming trend and decline with a substantial shift in temperature in certain temperate zones. Meanwhile, predictions show that yields in tropical and subtropical regions will diminish (Lindsey & Dahlman, 2022). The closer a country is to the equator, the more likely it is that agriculture will suffer from warming. The most serious blow could be inflicted on the agriculture of African countries, the population of which is the poorest in the world. The number of individuals at risk of starvation might rise by 600 million by 2080 (Mastroianni, 2015). That’s twice the number of people living in poverty in sub-Saharan Africa today.
The main negative impacts on food security in the developing world due to climate change can be summarized as follows. In developing states, climate change is likely to reduce the yields of the most important crops for the economy and population; South Asia will be particularly hard hit. Global warming will greatly affect the yield of irrigated crops in various regions of the world. Climate change will further increase the prices of the most important crops: rice, wheat, corn, and soybeans. The calorie content of the diet of the population, especially in developing countries, will be lower – the reduction in the calorie content of children’s nutrition will be more than 20% (Mastroianni, 2015). The global food system also affects the efficiency of food production by enabling regions with advanced production systems to export products to lagging regions. Coordination of efforts at the international level is necessary to solve a global problem of this magnitude.
Corruption indicators are difficult to verify and are subject to substantial debate. Between 2007 and 2012, only approximately 0.1 percent of total aid amounts involved found sanctionable corruption (Kenny, 2017). However, for apparent reasons, individuals do not usually promote their involvement in corruption. All the mentioned factors make the related measurements difficult. The problem with bribe payment measures can be viewed through the prism of one type of corruption and one of its consequences. It is nearly impossible to catch officials stealing money from their personal bank accounts. The amount of aid that was affected by corruption cannot be calculated from the numbers used to determine the volume of aid that goes to corrupt countries.
Here, it seems essential to emphasize that the real extent of the issue can be assessed rationally only from the perspective of the aid outcomes. For instance, “Countries that were the focus of attention from the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief saw the annual change in the number of HIV-related deaths between 2004 and 2007 that was 10.5 percent lower than other African countries” (Kenny, 2017, para 13). If financial help is lost to corruption, there can not be such significant results. Thus, the crucial point here is that the exact extent of inappropriate utilization of the aid cannot be assessed precisely, but it is essential to what degree this aid contribute to positive shifts.
Kenny, C. (2017). How much aid is really lost to corruption? Center for Global Development.
Lindsey, R., & Dahlman, L. (2022). Climate change global temperature. Climate.gov.
Mastroianni, B. (2015). Why 2 degrees are so important. CDS News.
Osborn, L. (2021). History of changes in the Earth’s temperature. Current Results.