preparedness FOR global warming and climate change requires multilevel planning, at the international, national, local, and individual levels to deal with the direct effects of climate changes in temperature, precipitation, wind, storm patterns, sealevel, as well as the indirect strain on world resources leading to migration, famine, and conflicts.
While mitigation strategies like reducing greenhouse gas emissions are a start, they do not take precedence over readiness to respond to natural disaster emergencies associated with the impact of climate change (intense storms, flooding, wildfires, public health, or the necessity to deal with future environmental pressures, the decreasing longevity of infrastructure with roads, bridges, waterworks, buildings, and facilities requiring earlier replacement, repair or modifications to remain safe for use. Adaptive measures in the form of physiological, social, and cultural measures will allow people to live throughout the world.
assessment of impact
In order to prepare for climate change, assessments must be completed and available for decision-making processes. On the international level, the International
Governmental Panel on Climate Change encourages collaboration among scientists, allied professionals, and policymakers, providing a forum for the collection of research material and posing questions to spur planning. The take-away message is evaluation to determine global policy toward a common goal while addressing implications and increasing cooperation between governments.
On the national and local levels, any assessment of the extent of impact climate changes (higher temperatures, rising sea levels, changing weather patterns will have on human health, ecosystem diversity and productivity, agricultural production, water supply, sanitation, infrastructure) must factor in the associated costs and benefits in developing sustainabil-ity plans, preparation for emergency situations, and adaptive measures.
Each area is different, with varying susceptibilities, policies, institutions, and social/cultural structures. National and local assessments to be most effective must evaluate the capacity to handle emergency measures associated with natural disasters and identifying susceptible areas of the environment and resources including agriculture, fisheries, forestry, fauna, human health, water supply and sanitation, infrastructure and construction, land use in hazard-prone areas (flood plain, islands), and disaster management.
Challenges to assessment for impact include factors not related to climate change that will impact the areas being considered at risk because of climate change include the dynamics of society and economy (demographic trends, agricultural management, improving and new technologies, cultural preferences, opportunities for employment, availability, and changes in transportation). Complex dynamics in human relationships with the environment, self-reliance, growing population, and increased urbanization may produce very different impacts between urban and rural areas.
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