RESPONSE TO CLIMATE CHANGE
WHAT IS CLIMATE CHANGE?
Climate change is a long-term shift in the statistics of the weather (including its averages). For example, it could show up as a change in climate normal (expected average values for temperature and precipitation) for a given place and time of year, from one decade to the next. We know that the global climate is currently changing. The last decade of the 20th Century and the beginning of the 21st have been the warmest period in the entire global instrumental temperature record, starting in the mid-19th century.
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 the distribution of events around that average.
Why is climate change a concern?
All across the world and in our state, people are taking action because climate change has serious impacts, locally and globally. For example, in 2007, scientists from the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) predicted that warming oceans and melting glaciers due to global warming and climate change could cause sea levels to rise 7-23 inches by the year 2100. Worldwide, densely populated coastal communities and infrastructure that supports them would be affected (such as city buildings and homes, roads, ports and wastewater treatment plants). Some would be flooded or more vulnerable to storm damage. In flat terrain, the shoreline could move many miles inland. Other effects are also serious. In some places, floods and/or drought could become more frequent and more severe. Even seemingly less dramatic local changes in temperature, precipitation and soil moisture could severely impact many things important to human life and all life around us, including: 1. natural ecosystems,
2. agriculture and food supplies,
3. human health,
5. water resources and availability,
6. energy use,
Many people are concerned that we are losing time to make a difference. Climate change and its effects may be irreversible. Life could become very difficult for some populations—plant, animal and human. Species, cultures, resources and many lives could be lost. What is being done to Study the Effects of Climate Change
There are numerous potential effects of climate change. Extensive research is being done around the world – a good deal within NOAA – to determine the extent to which climate change is occurring, how much of it is being caused by anthropogenic (manmade) forces, and its potential impacts. In some of these areas, there is not a consensus among scientists and in fact, there are often conflicting points-of-view and studies. However, with further research, no doubt many questions regarding impacts will be resolved in the future. Potential impacts most studied by researchers include the effects on sea level, drought, local weather, and hurricanes. Most of our current knowledge of global change comes from General Circulation Models (GCMs). At present, GCMs have the ability to provide us with a mean annual temperature for the planet that is reliable. Regional and local temperature and precipitation information from GCMs is, at present, unreliable. Much of the global change research effort is focused on improving this model.
WHAT IS DISASTER MANAGEMENT ?
Disaster management is a process or strategy that is implemented when any type of catastrophic event takes place. Sometimes referred to as disaster recovery management, the process may be initiated when anything threatens to disrupt normal operations or puts the lives of human beings at risk. Governments on all levels as well as many businesses create some sort of disaster plan that make it possible to overcome the catastrophe and return to normal function as quickly as...
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