Climatic Change and Its Effect on Society


There has been a significant climatic change that has taken place
throughout the years on Earth. These changes have effected society in more than
one way. However, there is nothing society can do about the long term influences
of climatic changes. Society has tended to address the short term effects of
climatic changes that influence the global temperatures within the life span of
present generations. The following will show how climatic changes does effect
society, health, and economics.
Society depends a lot on natural resources for various aspects. First of
all, society depends largely on forests to supply trees which in turn supply
wood for construction. Other resources include oil and animals (livestock). In
the focus of wood, there is the Western Canadian Boreal Forest which is a large
producer of wood for the United States construction industry. However, climatic
changes has had large and impacting effects on the construction industry.
Compared to eastern Canada, the southern boreal forest region of western Canada
has a relatively dry climate. Thus, drought effects are one of the major
concerns being addressed by researchers in this region. climate modellers have
predicted a large increase in temperature for this region, which could lead to
even drier conditions and enormous stresses on vegetation in the western
Canadian boreal forest. This type of impact was observed following the 1988
drought it experiences, when there was a die-back of aspen over extensive areas
of the aspen parkland in Western Canada. Associated with this drought was a
drying up of large lakes in the region. Another potential impact for the region
is a major increase in forest fires. This is due to the fact that fire frequency
is closely linked to moisture levels which are expected to decrease under
climatic change. Thus, it is noticed that with increased climatic change the
future that this forest has in supplying lumber is decreasing, and the
construction industry will face a slight drawback due to this. In this it is
noticed that, with a drawback in the construction industry's output, will also
effect the economy and society. The economy will effect society and the decrease
in output means a decrease in jobs, which in effect hurts society.
Contrary to the example of the forests in Canada, is the information
found on its agriculture. Because average temperatures are expected to increase
more near the poles than near the equator, the shift in climatic zones will be
more pronounced in the higher latitudes. In the mid-latitude regions ( 45 - 60
latitude ), the shift is expected to be about 200-300 kilometers for every
degree Celsius of warming. Since today's latitudinal climate belts are each
optimal for particular crops, such shifts could have a powerful impact on
agricultural and livestock production. For example, in the Canadian prairies,
the growing season might lengthen by 10 days for every 1oC increase in average
annual temperature.
Another example (Taken from sources on the net) is the impact of climate
change on water. Now, water is a survival of mankind, in general, but almost for
all life. Thus, if water was effected by climatic changes, so would society,
health, as well as economics be impacted by climatic changes. In areas where
climate change causes reduced precipitation, freshwater storage reserves,
primarily in the form of groundwater, will steadily shrink. Areas where more
precipitation was not matched by increased evaporation would experience floods
and higher lake and river levels. An increase in extreme events such as droughts
and floods would undermine the reliability of many critical sources. Diminished
snow accumulation in winter would reduce the spring run-off that can be vital to
replenishing lakes and rivers; a 10% decline in precipitation and a 1-2oC rise
in temperature could reduce run-off by 40-70% in drier basins. Worsening
droughts combined with the over-exploitation of water resources would cause salt
to leach from the soil, thus raising the salinity of the unsaturated zone (the
layer between the ground and the underlying water table). In coastal zones, a
lowered water table would also draw salt-water from the sea in the fresh
groundwater. At the same time, higher levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere
are expected to improve the efficiency of photosynthesis in plants, which could
in turn cause more rapid evapo-transpiration. Together, these various effects
would have extremely negative consequences for river watersheds, lake levels,
aquifers, and other sources of freshwater. As it is seen in the information
found, such consequences would in reality effect society, agriculture, and
economics. Society, would have lower levels of freshwater, agriculture would
also have lower levels of freshwater to survive on. Because of