|Vulnerability of natural resources, economy and public health to climate change|
|<< GLOBAL CONTEXT >>|
|TAR IPCC noted that the global
and regional climate changes would have both positive and negative impacts on ecosystems,
national economies and public health. In this regard, major point is the assessment and
research of adverse consequences of climate changes.
According to IPCC assessment, water resources in the mid-term will increase in some regions of the world; in other regions they will decrease due to glaciers degradation, change in precipitation pattern and an increase of evaporation. There will be an increase in scales and consequences of natural disasters (mudflows, floods, etc.), due to changes in the global hydrological cycle.
Sea level will rise due to glacier melting, thermal expansion of the oceans, etc. This phenomenon will affect coastal areas of many countries and small island states. Besides, there are evidences of coral reef degradation due to climate changes and sea level fluctuations.
Changes in vertical zonation of flora and fauna may occur in mountain ecosystems with a rich biodiversity. Some types of forests may degrade; others, on the contrary will favour.
Agriculture in some regions of the world can be significantly affected by climate changes. In this regard, the most vulnerable are the countries with arid and semi-arid climate, where apart from other factors, land degradation and desertification are typical natural processes. In the mid-latitude and high-latitude countries of the Northern Hemisphere, the impact of climate changes will not be negative.
Increased amounts of water will be probably needed for water economy, especially for agricultural irrigation, in view of global warming and an increase of evaporation. The risk of pollution and eutrofication of surface water reservoirs will also increase.
Hydropower engineering is relatively stable towards the hydrological cycle fluctuations, however long-term drought and increased suspended solids will apparently affect this economy.
As a result of global warming, vector-born and other dangerous diseases will spread significantly. Mortality related to thermal stress in summer will apparently increase.
Nevertheless, a number of problems still remain unsolved. This mainly refers to the lack of scientific knowledge and an inadequate system of observations over the climate changes indicators and consequences. This refers to ecosystems, public health, etc.
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