Climate change and Disaster Risk Reduction
Climate change and disaster risk reduction are closely linked. More extreme weather events in future are likely to increase the number and scale of disasters, while at the same time, the existing methods and tools of disaster risk reduction provide powerful capacities for adaptation to climate change. United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) in its report outlines the nature and significance of climate change for disaster risk. It also provides the perspectives and approaches of disaster risk reduction and how they can support adaptation strategies.
Sign of climate change
Increase in the frequency of heavy precipitation events over most land areas, which is consistent with global warming and the observed increases of atmospheric water vapor, more intense and longer droughts over wider areas since the 1970s, particularly in the tropics and subtropics, changes in sea surface temperatures, wind patterns, and decreased snow pack and snow cover widespread changes in extreme temperatures in many regions of the world over the last 50 years the more damaging intense tropical cyclone activity in the North Atlantic since about 1970, are some of the critical signs of climate change .
Climate/Weather factors that contribute to disasters
Over the last two decades (1988-2007), 76% of all disaster events were hydrological, meteorological or climatological in nature; these accounted for 45% of the deaths and79% of the economic losses caused by natural hazards. Natural hazards by themselves do not cause disasters– it is the combination of an exposed, vulnerable and ill prepared population or community with a hazard event that results in a disaster. Climate change will therefore affect disaster risks in two ways:-
1).Firstly through the likely increase in weather and climate hazards, and
2.) Secondly through increases in the vulnerability of communities to natural hazards, particularly through ecosystem degradation, reductions in water and food availability, and changes to livelihoods.
Extreme weather in future and its likely impact on Disaster
There is likelihood of increased weather extremes in future. It gives great concern that the number or scale of weather-related disasters will also increase. There is already evidence of increases in extreme conditions for some weather elements in some regions. The IPCC has estimated that by 2100:
• The global average surface warming (surface air temperature change), will increase by 1.1 - 6.4 °C.
• The sea level will rise between 18 and 59 cm.
• The oceans will become more acidic.
• It is very likely that hot extremes, heat waves and heavy precipitation events will continue to become more frequent.
• It is very likely that there will be more precipitation at higher latitudes and it is likely that there will be less precipitation in most subtropical land areas.
• It is likely that tropical cyclones (typhoons and hurricanes) will become more intense, with larger peak wind speeds and more heavy precipitation associated with ongoing increases of tropical sea surface temperatures
It will affect key sectors
Drought-will increase. Very likely to higher flood risks. By mid-century, water availability will likely decrease in regions supplied by melts water from mountain ranges. More than one sixth of the world’s population is currently dependent on melt water from mountain ranges.
While some mid-latitude and high-latitude areas will initially benefit from higher agricultural production, for many others at lower latitudes, it is likely to affect crop production negatively, which could increase the number of people at risk from hunger and increased levels of displacement and migration.
Industry, settlement and society:
The industries, settlements and societies that are located in coastal areas and river flood plains, and those whose economies are closely linked with climate sensitive resources will be negatively affected..
This change in climate is likely to affect the health status of millions of people, including through increased deaths, disease and injury due to heat waves, floods, storms, fires and droughts. Increase malnutrition, diarrheal disease and malaria in some areas will increase
Addressing the problem of climate change
First Task –Mitigation
The first task is to address the root cause by reducing greenhouse gas emissions from human activity. The means to achieve this are very contentious, as it will require radical changes in the way many societies are organized, especially in respect to fossil fuel use, industry operations, urban development and land use. Within the climate change arena, the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions is called “mitigation”.
Mitigation is defined by the IPCC as “an anthropogenic intervention to reduce the anthropogenic forcing of the climate system; it includes strategies to reduce greenhouse gas sources and emissions and enhancing greenhouse gassinks”.
For mitigation actions include
The Second task -Adaptation
The second task in responding to climate change is to manage its impacts. Future impacts on the environment and society are now inevitable, owing to the amount of greenhouse gases already in the atmosphere from past decades of industrial and other human activity, and to the added amounts from continued emissions over the next few decades until such time as mitigation policies become effective. There is need to adaptation to climate change.
Adaptation is defined by the IPCC as “the adjustment in natural or human systems in response to actual or expected climatic stimuli or their effects, which moderates harm or exploits beneficial opportunities”
Examples of adaptation include
These measures are intrinsically linked to sustainable development, as they reduce the risk to lives and livelihoods and increase the resilience of communities to all hazards. Ideally, adaptation and mitigation should be considered jointly, as some adaptation measures can contribute to reducing green house gas emissions, while conversely mitigation measures can be planned to help reduce, and not in advertently exacerbate, disaster risks.
|Hazard||lightning, heat wave, flood, climate Change, drought,|
|Location||Araria, Arwal, Aurangabad, Banka, Begusarai, Bhagalpur, Bhojpur, Buxar, Darbhanga, East Champaran, Gaya, Gopalganj, Jamui, Jehanabad, Kaimur, Katihar, Khagaria, Kishanganj, Lakhisarai, Madhepura, Madhubani, Monghyr, Muzaffarpur, Nalanda, Nawada, Patna, Purnea, Rohtas, Saharsa, Samastipur, Saran, Sheohar, Shiekhpura, Sitamarhi, Siwan, Supaul, Vaishali, West Champaran,|
|Theme||resilient villages, resilient livelihoods, resilient basic services, resilient critical infrastructure, resilient cities, miscellaneous,|
© 2019 - Disaster Management Department, Government of Bihar